Mexico wins first match of ’20 at empty Azteca

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Three first half goals saw Mexico men’s national team coast to a 3-0 victory over Guatemala on Wednesday in El Tri‘s first game since last November.

Mexico fielded a domestic squad for the match, which falls outside of FIFA’s international window, with Guatemala filling in at late notice after Costa Rica pulled out last week due to problems related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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El Tri dominated the game inside Estadio Azteca from the start and took the lead in the 6th minute, when Henry Martin netted from close range after latching onto a left wing cross from Sebastian Cordova.

The host doubled its lead just before the half-hour mark, with Cruz Azul’s Orbelin Pineda free to finish from inside the penalty area after Uriel Antuna had burst down the right flank and pulled the ball back.

Cordova scored himself in the 36th following a slick move down the left involving Monterrey’s Jesus Gallardo.

El Tri controlled the possession in the second half and Chivas duo Fernando Beltran and Gilberto Sepulveda came on for their national team debuts, but Mexico didn’t look as dangerous against a Guatemala side that was also made up mainly of domestic-based players.

The Mexico squad is set to travel to Europe for friendless against the Netherlands on Oct. 7 and Algeria on Oct. 13. The Europe-based contingent of Mexico players will also join up with coach Gerardo Martino’s squad next week in Amsterdam.

El Tri‘s next competitive game is the semifinal of the CONCACAF Nations League next June in the United States against Costa Rica.