'Tri'- Cero: Mexico Gets Past Israel in Azteca Send-off Match
In El Tri's fist game of their three-game World Cup send off series against Israel, Cuauhtemoc Blanco took the captain's arm band and played almost an entire half in his final game for Mexico, ending in a 3-0 win courtesy of two Miguel Layun goals. Marco Fabian finished it off with a goal in the 84th minute to seal the victory.
Blanco's passing and completion rate for Mexico further proves the point that he'd be able to hold his own during his final months in Liga MX before he retires this year. He was effective and accurate when making long passes - something many spectators could hope for but weren't sure to expect in his final El Tri performance.
Miguel Herrera's lineup called for a last minute substitution in Andres Guardado to start for Hector Herrera. Guardado struggled at times to legitimize his place in central midfield - not his natural position - but he assisted Layun's first goal and did his best to be the glue to hold things together transitionally. It wasn't a bad performance, and if given the opportunity to play in the same role again he'd most likely be able to hold up.
Mexico held possession throughout most of the game and were finally able to break ahead in the 43rd minute, when a pass from Guardado met the feet of Layun at the 18 yard box. Defying the usual El Tri predictability, Layun shot from distance and beat Israeli 'keeper Ariel Harsh to claim a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.
Again leading in possession into the second half, Mexico's integration of Chicharito, Raul Jimenez, and Oribe Peralta proved to threaten in attack mode, but it would be Layun to break through to score El Tri's second - again from distance. It was a good effort by Chicharito to make the run into the box anticipating an assist to tap in, but Layun's ball bounced off the inside post and into goal.
Marco Fabian scored the third goal in the 85th minute. Alan Pulido's cross from a run down the wing deflected, and Fabian, in the right place at the right time, capitalized.
Mexico will travel to San Antonio, TX to play Ecuador in the second game of their send-off series before the World Cup on Friday, May 31.