Mexico achieve most of its victories before the World Cup against Iraq despite the temporary midfield

Mexico achieve most of its victories before the World Cup against Iraq despite the temporary midfield

Mexico beat Iraq 4-0 in an exhibition match as coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino’s team continues to prepare for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.

Wednesday’s match in the Spanish city of Girona started wonderfully for Mexico as he scored in the fourth minute with a shot from Alexis Vega. After the break, substitutes Aurel Antona and Rogelio Funes Mori made an immediate impact as soon as they entered the field, with Antona providing a perfect pass from the right and then finishing off Funes Mori from close range to make it 2-0 by the 48th minute.

Then, in the 67th minute, Jesus Gallardo broke into a rebound from Iraq and sent a shot into the net, pushing don’t you see up to 3-0. Moments before the final whistle, Funes Mori was awarded a penalty in injury time, making Antona score from a penalty kick in the 92nd minute to cement the score.

Martino and his Mexican team will continue their World Cup preparations with a final friendly match against Sweden on November 16, also scheduled to take place at the Montelivi Stadium. In Qatar, they will face Poland (November 22), Saudi Arabia (November 26) and Argentina (November 30) in the group stage.


The most obvious positive note was Mexico’s ability to score four times on Wednesday. With the World Cup just around the corner, Martino’s side faced a lot of hardships in 2022 while taking advantage of opportunities in the final third. In the final result, they looked like a more motivated team.

“We were decisive, something we lack, we finished playing very well,” Vega told TUDN after the 4-0 win.

Elsewhere, it’s been noteworthy to watch the great performances from a handful of Martino’s regular calls that have dealt with heavy criticism in recent months. Funes Morey and Gallardo, in particular, are often heavily criticized for their performances, but they were undoubtedly game-changers against Iraq.

To say the least, confidence in these options and more paid off on Wednesday – a very good sign ahead of the World Cup.


The midfield looked like a work in progress. The starting trio of Héctor Herrera, Carlos Rodriguez and Luis Chavez were disjointed at times and lacked creativity throughout the first half.

Substitutions seem to have reawakened this sector of the field with the inclusion of Eric Sanchez and Luis Romo, but there was also no real threat against them from a very defensive Iraqi opposition.

Given the recent friendly against Sweden, it will be curious to see if Martino will bring back his usual defensive midfielder, Edson Alvarez.

Director rating

Gerardo Martino, 7 – Outside midfield and the eyebrow-raising decision to put central defender Nestor Araujo at right back, there are very few complaints about Martino on Wednesday. Even as things got to be expected with the playmaking in the first 45 minutes, the coach did an excellent job of changing his tactics which secured three goals in the second half.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players presented after 70 minutes do not get a rating)

GK Alfredo Talavera, 7 – Little work to do for Talavera, but it was effective during the few moments he had to step out of his streak and step in.

DF Jesus Gallardo, 9 – Mexico MOTM. An active evening left back provided a goal, assist and dangerous interferences on the wing.

DF Hector Moreno, 7 – A fairly straightforward walk for the captain who spent most of his time making side passes and the long ball cross.

Defender Cesar Montes, 7 years old The Monterrey defender worked well with Moreno (teammate) and was vital in a few duels and clearances.

DF Nestor Araujo, 6 – It wasn’t his fault that he put him in an unnatural position at right-back, but Araujo looked uncomfortable in place. He made small improvements once he moved closer to the center of the defense.

MF Luis Chavez, 7 – Decent performance from the recent Liga MX champion who has been heavily involved in the playmaking industry. However, his association with the rest of the midfielders should be better.

MF Hector Herrera, 6 – An important dealer, but also a dealer who has become almost computable and imaginative with his sophisticated gameplay. A mistake in the first half almost cost Mexico a goal as well.

MF Carlos Rodriguez, 6 – Rodriguez was cautious on Wednesday and needed to do more to justify his role initially. The midfielder at times looked like a loser in the first half.

Striker Alexis Vega, 8 – A commendable match from the winger scored immediately in the fourth minute and was also impressive and risky going forward.

FW Henry Martin, 6 – Despite his fantastic 2022 Apertura season with Club America, Martin has yet to display the same magic with Mexico after another goalless outing.

FW Roberto Alvarado, 7 – Alvarado gradually became more involved in the match as time progressed, eventually raising the cross that led to Gallardo’s goal.


FW Rogelio Funes Mori (Martin, 45 min), 8 – Nothing more could be asked of the striker, who came off the bench, scored and then won a penalty in the final moments of the friendly.

FW Uriel Antuna (Vega, 45 minutes), 9 – Antona was a catalyst in attack thanks to his assists for Funes Morey’s goal, then scored a fine goal from the penalty spot in the 92nd minute.

MF Eric Sanchez (Rodriguez, 45 min), 7 – A busy second half for the 23-year-old who covered a lot of ground in midfield and also with a few tackles. Whether or not this will be enough to cement a place in the World Cup.

MF Luis Romo (Herrera, 45 min), 7 – Romo emerged as a slight improvement over Herrera as a defensive midfielder who linked well through his distribution.

DF Jesus Angolo (Chávez 45d) 6 – A quiet evening for the defender who could have improved his game, but was also unfazed regularly in his area of ​​the pitch.

Kevin Alvarez (Moreno 45 min) 7 – The right-back was eager to make a name for himself with his quick passes and also the pass that helped make Antona’s assist of the night.

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