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Rating Mexico's player performances in Wednesday's 3-0 win over Israel.
Mexico 3-0 Israel: Player Ratings
05/29/2014
 
México 3-0 Israel

Mexico ran out 3-0 winners over Israel Wednesday night in their first of four pre-World Cup warmup games. The match gave Miguel Herrera a chance to experiment with squad members who have not featured for El Tri with the same regularity as the side’s traditional backbone, while also serving as a way for Mexican legend Cuauhtemoc Blanco to say goodbye to his adoring fans in front of a packed Azteca stadium.


STARTING XI:


GK – Jose Corona – 6.5


Challenging for one of the most fiercely competitive places in the side, Corona had a quiet night but did all that was asked of him by keeping a clean sheet – though he was almost caught out by Eran Zahavi’s free kick midway through the second half. Was replaced due to a nasty-looking head injury with 15 minutes remaining, but thankfully reports Thursday morning suggest nothing more than bruising.


LWB – Miguel Layun – 8.5


Endured a slow start in the opening 30 minutes, but proved why he is so indispensable to Herrera’s system with two long range goals either side of half time. With Layun able to play on either flank, the manager has most frequently deployed him on the left to allow him to cut inside and unleash his powerful right foot – something he did to devastating effect last night. He could be one of Mexico’s stars of the tournament.


LCB – Diego Reyes – 7


Provided solid defending of set pieces without ever being spectacular, though he should have done more to prevent Sherran Yeini’s close-range free header in the 18th minute. Played on the left of the three centre backs last night, but is probably more likely to feature on the right in Brazil.


CB – Carlos Salcido – 7.5


A surprise inclusion in the 20-man squad, Salcido demonstrated his importance with a commanding display in the heart of the defense. His performance was all the more impressive given he has not played regularly at center back throughout his time with Tigres. Likely to be the first choice replacement if one of the preferred center backs picks up an injury.


RCB – Francisco "Maza" Rodriguez – 6.5


The experienced center back turned in a decent performance, although he did allow Rami Gershon to get free from a corner early in the second half. He was also involved in an unfortunate incident with Corona when his knee collided with the goalkeeper’s head as he raced to close down a loose ball late in the game.


RWB - Paul Aguilar – 7.5


A near certainty to line up against Cameroon in Mexico’s World Cup opener, Aguilar wasn’t required to do much defending but was a constant thorn in Israel’s side with consistent and penetrative attacking runs down the right side. Hit the bar with a header midway through the second half.


LCM – Marco Fabian – 7


Offered little to suggest he deserved a place in the starting 11 during the first half as he struggled to get time on the ball. He grew into the game in the second period before adding Mexico’s third goal of the night with a sweet long-range volley with five minutes remaining.


DCM – Andres Guardado – 6


Guardado was a late inclusion in the starting 11 after Hector Herrera was struck down with a stomach bug. Unfamiliar with the role of holding midfielder, he struggled to offer the required link play between defense and attack in the first period – contributing to Mexico’s sluggish start. The manager will nonetheless be pleased that Guardado showed he could do a reasonable job in the role, especially as Medina had to leave the squad because of injury.


RCM – Isaac Brizuela – 6.5


The young Toluca starlet was relatively anonymous throughout the night as he found it difficult to play the more central role that was asked of him. He has shown his best form at club level when allowed to play in a wider role on the wing and Herrera will need to permit him the same freedoms if he wants the 23-year-old to replicate that form in Brazil.


ST – Oribe Peralta – 6.5


It was a quiet night for Mexico’s latest golden boy, though he clearly wasn’t pushing himself too hard in a bid to avoid a pre-tournament injury. Was given a couple of chances by Blanco’s excellent vision, but couldn’t convert any of them.


ST – Cuauhtemoc Blanco – 8.5


Blanco participated in his 120th and final appearance for El Tri, and his performance left many wondering if the 41-year-old could still keep playing. Despite his evident lack of pace he was easily Mexico’s best player in the first half, displaying a touch and awareness that left many of the younger players looking somewhat inadequate. Was unlucky not to score when he sent a 35th minute free kick just over the bar.


SUBSTITUTES:


GK – Guillermo Ochoa (73rd minute) – 6


Like Corona, Ochoa had little to do. He was only forced to make one save when Bebars Natcho fired in a low effort to his near post, though he did well not to spill the effort given he was denied a proper warm-up.


RCM – Miguel Ponce (59th minute) – 7


Ponce was asked to play a slightly more attacking game than he does at club level but turned in a good performance, setting up several teammates for shots and providing the cross that allowed Aguilar to hit the bar with a header in the 68th minute.


AMC – Alan Pulido (72nd minute) – 6


Played a slightly deeper role than his usual favored position on the shoulder of the last man, but provided some nice link-up play and demonstrated why Herrera made the correct decision in including him amongst the 23.


ST – Raul Jimenez (39th minute) – 6.5


Replaced Blanco just before halftime but struggled to impose himself on the game, though he showed glimpses of starting to forge a good understanding with Hernandez. Both he and Pulido will hope to be the first choice attacking substitute and after neither particularly impressed last night the role is still very-much up for grabs in the remaining friendlies.


ST – Javier Hernandez (45th minute) – 6.5


The Manchester United man played the entire second half after replacing Peralta at half time. Chicharito still looked short of match fitness after a difficult season at club level, but was enthusiastic and industrious throughout – a quality that was highlighted when he was the only Mexican play to show the alertness to chase down the loose ball after Layun’s shot for his second goal looped into the air off the goalkeeper.

 
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