Mexico will close out their friendly tour in Marbella, Spain against Australia. The U24 team will have their final test in what could be the most important match of all three. Mexico has used two different starting lineups in their first two matches, so this match could be the final test with a possible combination of the best players on the first two tests, although Coach Jaime Lozano could just as easily use the match as the last test for players who are still on the bubble and sit down the players who are closer to earning their ticket for the upcoming Olympic games.
Mexico started their tour with a win against Romania by a 1-0 score last Saturday. Mexico then got a 1-1 tie against Saudi Arabia in their second match on Thursday. Although Coach Lozano used a different 11 on both games, their level of play was very similar. In both matches Mexico started out as the lesser team, although the domination by Romania was clearer than against Saudi Arabia. Mexico would then improve and in the second half, becoming the better team. In both games Mexico took the lead, but in the 91st minute against Saudi Arabia they gave up a dubious penalty kick that allowed Saudi Arabia to get the tie. Overall, Mexico hasn’t looked great with some nice flashes but very low offensive work in creating chances. Worse yet is that while the games have been taken as a test to give to players that miss out on the U23 CONCACAF Championship, most of them haven’t really impressed. Outside of Fernando Beltran and Alejandro Zendejas, all of the players who have stood out have gone to the CONCACAF Championships. Thus with the Olympic games being just around the corner, it sort of seems like a waste to have used this friendly tour to test players that just confirm they weren’t up to making the final squad.
Mexico will have a very tough test in the Olympic games. They are in a group along with favorites France and hosts Japan. The “easiest” team is South Africa, a team whose style has given Mexico trouble in the past. Thus Jaime Lozano has a tough job ahead of himself and with few friendlies set, it will be tough for him to prepare. There are strong rumors however that the Olympic team will be the one to play the June 30th match against Panama that was set to be the Senior National Team. The Australia match might be the most important because after these past tests, it could be the first in which Lozano has close to a team of players that will be taking part in the Tournament. Mexico will hope to close the friendly tour in a high not but more importantly with a good level of play to build for the very important tournament they are preparing for.