Game: México vs. Argentina
Date: Saturday, October 23rd
Time: 6:00 p.m. Buenos Aires, 5:00 p.m. Eastern, 4:00 p.m. Central, 2:00 p.m. Pacific, 9:00 p.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Gregorio “Tepa” Gómez (Tepatitlán, Jal.)
All-time record: México has the decided advantage in international competition, winning seven of the nine meetings including their first meeting in the 1971 World Cup (México won 3-1) and their last meeting in the 2015 Pan American Games (another 3-1 win). The lone draw was a 2-2 friendly held in Buenos Aires in 2005, and the lone loss was by a 1-0 scoreline in the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
After the initial stress tests of the Mónica Vergara era, México has settled back into playing opponents ranked closer to where they stand in the FIFA table. They had a scrimmage and an official friendly during the last window against Colombia, who ranked #26 in the world is much closer to México’s #28 than say Japan (#13) or Spain (#10). They’ll now host #35 Argentina this Saturday in Tepatitlán and see just how much they’ve learned playing Japan, Spain, and Colombia.
It will be interesting to see whether Vergara uses this friendly to work out the bugs in the system or to put some of the new faces into the system to see how they do. The new faces include PSV’s Anika Rodríguez, Braga’s Myra Delgadillo, and Santos Laguna’s Cinthya Peraza, all of whom are currently uncapped. Querétaro’s Valeria Miranda will not be available for selection, as she has withdrawn due to a strained right hamstring.
Also interesting will be how Argentina does against what should be a much stronger opponent. Argentina’s squad is a pretty even mix of domestic players and players based abroad, mostly in Spain. Pachuca’s Ruth Bravo is a name that will be known to Liga MX Femenil fans, and NWSL fans will know Kansas City’s Mariana Larroquette. Bravo has one goal in 100 minutes of play with Tuzos Femenil this season, while Larroquette has two goals in 651 minutes this season.
Argentina’s domestic league is up and coming, but it’s nowhere near the level of Liga MX Femenil and like so many other women’s leagues, it suffers from underinvestment. Reforms are being made, and these friendlies could be a showcase for some of the younger players to get scouted by teams that have more means and could further their development.
Argentina can prove a lot to a lot of people with a good showing against a strong México side. They’ll also take on Chivas on October 26 during their stay in Guadalajara, which will be a good test for both sides.