Mexico have received a timely boost ahead of Friday’s crunch Copa America game with the news that veteran defender Rafa Marquez is expected to have recovered from a thigh injury sustained during El Tri’s 0-0 draw with Bolivia last week.
It was originally reported that the injury would rule Marquez out of the rest of the tournament, but it is now thought that he’ll be fine to take his place amongst the eleven starters against Ecuador.
Despite the Marquez boost, the positivity is tempered by the news that wing-back Adrian Aldrete has been ruled out of the game. He was injured in the build-up to Mexico’s equalizer against Chile in the 3-3 draw on Monday night, and although fears that he had suffered a fracture proved to be misguided, it has been confirmed he sustained a badly sprained right ankle – seemingly ruling the Santos Laguna man out of the rest of the tournament.
“He'll miss the rest of the competition", said Mexico doctor Gerardo Aguilar last night. "We're talking two to three weeks out – it would be risky to expose him to something else happening."
Nonetheless, and despite the doctor’s assessment, the FMF have confirmed that he will stay with the squad in Chile, both for the upkeep of morale and just in case his recovery is faster than expected.
With so much riding on Friday’s game, Mexico boss Miguel Herrera will be delighted to have his captain available for selection. El Tri must beat Ecuador to guarantee themselves a place in the quarter finals, though depending on results elsewhere a draw, and even a loss, could still see them progress.
A win for both Brazil (against Colombia this evening) and for Venezuela (against Peru tomorrow) would mean a draw on Friday would almost certainly be enough for Mexico as one of the best third- place sides.
A win for Mexico would put them onto five points and would see them progress as one of the groups top two. A loss would leave them on two points, but could still see them through if Peru and Colombia both lose this week them draw their final game against each other on Sunday.
Mexico played Ecuador as recently as late March, with a 14th minute Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez goal proving to be the difference between the two sides in Los Angeles. That result has little bearing on Friday’s game, however.
Of the eleven starters in the spring friendly, only ‘keeper Corona and defender Hugo Ayala are in the Copa America squad (plus Güemez, Jiménez, Aldrete, Herrera, Medina, and Dominguez – who were all on the bench).
Kick off at the Estadio El Teniente in Rancagua is at 5pm EDT / 2pm PDT on Friday 19th June.