Respite. The Tricolor needed the victory so much to leave behind an inertia of defeats and doubts about the players who could change history. And the day came, Mexico beat Jamaica 2-1 in the World Cup Qualifying game against Qatar, but it was not an easy score to get, the reggae boyz were ahead until the 80th minute, when the tying goal was scored via Henry Martín and two minutes later, that of Alexis Vega.
The result places Mexico, momentarily in third place in the octagonal with 17 points, which means a direct ticket to the World Cup, however, there are still five games to play to see if El Tri qualifies.
Today, Canada is in the lead and in second place is the United States.
In Kingston’s Independence Park, without an audience and with a blue athletics track as a panoramic frame, the hosts were left with 10 men when Damion Lowe fouled captain Andrés Guardado in the 43rd minute. The Inter Milan player made a strong entrance at the foot of the Mexican support. The referee Ismael Cornejo went to the VAR, an instrument that made its appearance for the first time in the Qualifiers and when reviewing the scene, he showed the Jamaican the red card.
It was a game very run over by fouls and not all of them had card consequences. Among them, there is the first one committed against Jorge Sánchez after the first four minutes of the game and he had to leave instead, taking his place Luis Rodríguez; the blow to Andrés Guardado that led to Lowe’s expulsion and that coach Gerardo Martino confirmed that it is not an injury that disables him. Or the fall of Diego Laínez, who protested a blow to the neck that made it difficult for him to breathe.
The Jamaicans celebrated Daniel Johnson’s goal in the 50th minute, which made the Mexicans feel the sensation of the third loss in a row in this final phase, after those suffered in November against the United States and Canada.
Tata Martino evidenced with his body language the pressure, his hands on his face, his neck, stress when opportunities were missed, which at least Rogelio Funes Mori, Uriel Antuna, Jesús Gallardo and Alexis Vega had. The Argentine coach made all possible changes after 70 minutes, Gerardo Arteaga, Henry Martín and Jesús Corona appeared, the latter to whom he had said he would have him on the bench because he had just recovered.
The Tricolor returns to Mexico City with a better face, but without claiming victory, they will face Costa Rica at the Azteca stadium next Sunday and Panama on Wednesday, also behind closed doors.
“We made a call for 28 players, we suffered some inconveniences, those who were available and on the bench, today we were up to the task, with the rival’s difficulty, but persistence and search made us reverse the result. We won the game well, we controlled it in its entirety, we suffered a goal that was out of context and we continued playing in the same way forcing the result and we achieved it in the last 10 minutes as it could have been before.
“At a collective level we played a good game, we controlled it before and after their goal. The collective performance is good for me,” Martino said at a press conference after the game.
Matches remaining to be played in Concacaf Qualifying:
Date 10 – Sunday January 30
- Mexico vs. Costa Rica (Aztec Stadium)
Date 11 – Wednesday, February 2
- Mexico vs. Panama (Aztec Stadium)
Date 12 – Thursday March 24
- Mexico vs. United States (Aztec Stadium)
Date 13 – Sunday March 27
- Honduras vs. Mexico (Metropolitan Olympic Stadium)
Date 14 – Wednesday, March 30
- Mexico vs. El Salvador (Aztec Stadium)