On Wednesday night, Mexico National Team faced their first friendly game of the year against Guatemala. The game ended in a scoreless draw, and although the result doesn’t help to boost El Tri’s confidence, it was a good showcase for young players.
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El Tri had the possession of the ball for most of the game but weren’t able to find the Guatemalan goal, as the few options they had, Nicholas Hagen was ready to cut the passes, leaving Sebastián Córdova and Santiago Giménez without options.
The good news for the Mexican national team is that Gerardo “Tata” Martino could observe closer some younger players that might not have a spot in the roster for Qatar 2022, but they will become the bases of El Tri for the 2026 World Cup.
Given that the game was played outside of a FIFA match window, Martino couldn’t have the usual roster, as the clubs weren’t obliged to loan their players, that’s why he called 13 U-23 players, some of which still have options to make it into the final roster.
One of the players earned his ticket last night
Although the players that were talked about the most are Marcelo Flores and Jonathan Gómez, who debuted with El Tri after playing for USMNT last December in a friendly match, there was another player that impressed with his performance.
According to Luis García and Christian Martinoli, commentators of TV Azteca, Erik Lira was one of the players that stood out the most on the midfield, and they ensured that he’ll be on the final roster of Martino given that he’s an attractive player.
In the 30 minutes he played, Lira was one of the players that attracted the ball the most, creating a good connection between the defense and the offense, something that El Tri is been lacking with Héctor Herrera and Andrés Guardado.
Will he make it to the World Cup?
During the broadcast of the game in TV Azteca, David Medrano said that one of the things that Gerardo Martino was looking for in the game was a midfielder that can work as a replacement for Edson Álvarez, who usually does most of the work in the midfield, giving Erik Lira big possibilities of becoming that player.