México had their chances but unfortunately couldn’t put it all together and wound up in a 0-0 draw with Slovakia. The good news for México is that the defense looked solid and was able to keep Slovakia from creating many good scoring chances. The bad news is that México had several chances to score but ultimately was unable to find the back of the net.
México got their first decent opportunity of the match in the third minute when Nicole Pérez whipped in a cross from the right side that Stephany Mayor headed wide. México was largely patient with the ball, looking to make a smart pass more often than trying to break things wide open. Slovakia was defensively solid but offensively turned the ball over often in the starting minutes of the match. Pérez had a shot from distance in the 19th but it was saved by goalkeeper Mária Korenčiová. In the 28th minute Alison González made a good run to get through the defense but her shot was well high of the target.
Slovakia became more comfortable on the ball, and was able to create some pressure, but the Mexican defense was able to hold fast. Both Janelly Farías and Reyna Reyes had critical clearances that kept Slovakia from turning a good look into a legitimate scoring chance. In the 39th, Licha Cervantes made a good run down the left, but had run out of room before attempting a centering pass to González and Korenčiová was able to smother the pass. Mária Mikolajová had a shot from distance in the 44th minute that went well wide of the net. Patrícia Hmírová had perhaps the best chance of the half when in stoppage time she was able to get to a ball that her defender had mistimed, forcing Emily Alvarado to make a diving save to ensure the half ended in a scoreless draw.
Mexico started the second half on the front foot, with a cross intended for an onrushing Alison González having to be scrambled away by a Slovak defender. At the other end, Hmírová was able to take an uncontested shot but shanked it well wide of the net. In the 62nd minute, México had a good chance when a good counterpress allowed them to keep the ball in the area. When they forced the turnover, Nancy Antonio got to it and ripped a shot that went just over the bar. Then in the 69th, México had another great opportunity. Montserrat Hernández hit a cross to Dani Espinosa, who headed it high and in toward goal. Korenčiová misplayed the ball, and it wound up going to Renae Cuéllar who headed it but the Slovak defense was able to get to it and clear it before Diana García could get to it.
In the 82nd minute México had their best chance of the afternoon when Belén Cruz hit a cross to a completely open Montse Hernández. With plenty of time and space and with Renae Cuéllar available in the center, Hernández shot straight into the chest of Korenčiová and the ball was cleared ou, much to the frustration of Hernández. In stoppage time Slovakia had a great chance off of a corner but Reyna Reyes was there to clear the ball off of the line with a header. Then at the other end Reyes got onto a corner kick and shot it on frame but it was deflected out of bounds and the final whistle sounded.
México had some great opportunities but quite simply needed to be a bit more clinical in front of goal. Mónica Vergara was optimistic after the match, saying “We want the players to have the experience of playing against different styles, today we (faced) a team that seeks direct play.”
”We are showing our game model and I see things that leave me (feeling) calm, we have the commitment to continue working so that it is reflected on the field,” she continued, adding “I have to give all the players the opportunity to show themselves and really compete at these levels, so that they know that there is a competition so that we can have a better Selección.”
Slovakia coach Peter Kopúň said after the match “From my point of view, it was excellent athletic football, “ continuing to say that “the game spilled from gate to gate, so our defense had to be on the lookout and it survived. So my immediate feeling after the match is satisfaction.”
México will face 12th ranked Spain on Tuesday, April 13 in Marbella, Spain.
México: Emily Alvarado; Reyna Reyes, Jocelyn Orejel, Janelly Farías, Bianca Sierra (Kim Rodríguez, 45’); Montserrat Hernández, Rebeca Bernal (Nancy Antonio, 45’), Nicole Pérez (Diana García, 45’); Alison González (Renae Cuéllar, 69’), Alicia Cervantes (Dani Espinosa, 45’), Stephany Mayor (Belén Cruz, 56’)
Slovakia: Mária Korenčiová; Jana Vojteková, Diana Bartovičová (Kristína Panáková, 71’), Viktória Čeriová, Patrícia Fischerová; Mária Mikolajová, Patrícia Hmírová, Andrea Horváthová (Kristinna Kosiková,56’), Dominika Škorvánková (Alexandra Bíróová 56’); Veronika Sluková (Monika Havranová, 23’), Martina Šurnovská (Petra Zdechovanová, 71’)
Scoring: México - None; Slovakia - None
Disciplinary: México - Rebeca Bernal (Yellow - 32’), Nancy Antonio (Yellow - 75’); Slovakia - Jana Vojteková (Yellow - 77’)