México breaks a six game winless streak with a hard fought win against Colombia at Estadio Azteca. Emily Alvarado and the defense picked up the first shutout in four games while debutant Maricarmen Reyes got her first national team goal and María Sánchez hit a spectacular free kick to seal the win. México looked solid and mentally tough, while Colombia fought well and should have a lot of positives to take from the match.
México looked the more confident side early on, keeping the ball down in the Colombian end of the pitch but not creating many chances. Colombia kept trying to send players on long balls forward, however they were largely snuffed out by the Mexican back line. In the 12th minute Carolina Jaramillo hit a shot that goalkeeper Catalina Pérez tipped up and over the crossbar. In the 17th a little bit of controversy as Rebeca Bernal was pushed in the back by Manuela Vanegas in the box but no call was given, as it was minimal. México had a good counterattack in the 21st that resulted in a good shot by Kenti Robles but Pérez fell onto the shot. Alison González had a header in the 24th from the top of the box, but it missed wide.
Despite México not creating as many good chances as they might have liked, they were clearly the better team, keeping possession and taking the game to Colombia. Colombia had a decent chance in the 34th when Mayra Ramírez made a nice spin move at the top of the box to lose the defender, firing a shot at the end of the revolution that went just wide. Then at the other end a minute later Alison González and Jaramillo had a two-on-one but Jaramillo’s shot was blocked out for a corner kick. México finally broke through in the 35th minute when they hit on a counterattack. María Sánchez hit a scissor kick that Pérez saved, but the rebound fell to an onrushing Maricarmen Reyes, who rifled it into the back of the net for her first goal on her first national team start.
The second half started out much like the first ended. México looked good on the ball, while Colombia looked committed to slowing things down with physical play. The physical play wound up costing Colombia however when in the 60th minute Jaramillo was pulled down by 23. María Sánchez hit a beautiful free kick that Pérez could only lay a fingertip on.
Colombia had a good chance in the 63rd when a header in the box went just wide of the net, having caught Emily Alvarado flat-footed. In the 65th minute another free kick was awarded to México from about 20 yards out, but this time the free kick went into the wall. In the 70th minute Colombia got possession deep and had an opportunity to send Mayra Ramírez in on goal, but Jocelyn Orejel made a great defensive play to concede a throw-in.
In the 76th Reyes almost got her second goal when a corner kick resulted in a scrum in the box. Reyes got to the ball and fired a shot off of the crossbar, and while she was able to gather the rebound the Colombian defense collapsed in on her, preventing a clean follow-up shot. Sánchez almost had a second in the 80th minute when she was able to get to a cross in the box, but her volley went well over the bar. In the 87th Colombia had a good chance when Ramírez hit a cross on the ground to Leicy Santos, but Kenti Robles executed a sliding tackle, taking the brunt of the shot in the stomach. Colombia had a flurry of chances at the end of the match, but México held firm to preserve the 2-0 shutout.
México’s next scheduled match is October 23 against Argentina in Tepatitlán, México while Colombia’s next scheduled match is also October 23 against Chile in Cali, Colombia.
México: Emily Alvarado; Kenti Robles, Jocelyn Orejel, Rebeca Bernal, Karina Rodríguez; Nancy Antonio, Carolina Jaramillo (Viridiana Salazar, 87’); Maricarmen Reyes (Diana García, 79’), María Sánchez, Daniela Espinosa (Joseline Montoya, 79’); Alison González (Licha Cervantes, 87’)
Colombia: Catalina Pérez; Nancy Acosta, Manuela Vanegas, Jorelyn Carabalí, Carolina Arias; Lorena Bedoya (Manuela Pavi, 68’), Liana Salazar; Diana Ospina (Linda Caicedo, 46’), Leicy Santos, Daniela Montoya; Mayra Ramírez
Scoring: México - Maricarmen Reyes (36’), María Sánchez (61’); Colombia - None
Disciplinary: México - Nancy Antonio (Yellow - 74’); Colombia - Daniela Montoya (Yellow - 40’), Carolina Arias (Yellow - 53’), Jorelyn Carabalí (Yellow - 64’)