Mexico vs. El Salvador: 5 Things We Learned from El Tri's Win
Mission accomplished. Mexico advanced to the final stage of the CONCACAF Qualifying tournament with an undefeated record.
El Salvador was El Tri’s last victim and with a 2-0 victory at Estadio TSM Corona, Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre proved that Mexico is the team to beat in the confederation.
What did we learn from the match? Let’s find out.
Angel Reyna Must Be a Starter
The Monterrey midfielder was the best Mexican on the pitch. Angel Reyna came in from the beginning of the match and was a breath of fresh air for El Tri.
Reyna gave the squad depth and variety when it needed it most. Despite not scoring, he proved to be a great playmaker—a role that was vacant before.
If Angel keeps up the good work he could become the leader of the midfield and one of the cornerstones through the final stage of the qualifier.
Aldo De Nigris Works Better as a Sub
Aldo de Nigris is in great shape, but this does not mean he should start every game.
With the national team he has scored eight times: five times as sub (Venezuela, El Salvador, Cuba, Guatemala and Honduras) and three times as starter (once against New Zealand and twice against Wales).
De Nigris comes in handy when the squad is frustrated and out of options.
In this game, he had at least three clear goal opportunities, but he missed them terribly.
Hector Herrera Needs to Play More
Hector Herrera played 23 minutes, enough to put the El Salvador goalkeeper in distress more than once.
The 22-year-old proved to be a great choice when the team needs creativity; he is ready to take chances, even when the scenario is uncertain. The Pachuca midfielder will try everything.
Take, for instance, his long-distance shot; it definitively forced Dagoberto Portillo's best save of the night.
He may not be a starter for the next stage, but we will see his true potential if he can play at least one complete half.
Oribe Peralta Is Going Through His Best Moment
He is not a kid anymore, but his game is certainly in the right place. Oribe Peralta has become a cornerstone in El Tri.
He is fearless and fights for every single ball. He is not the regular striker. "El Cepillo" attacks the same way he defends.
He goes up and down constantly and has a superb header, but is no stranger to long distance shots.
Against El Salvador he proved it yet again and "El Chepo" knows it. Peralta is a born striker; one that creates plays but also finishes them.
The Team's Worst Enemy Is Itself
El Salvador could never push Mexico. El Tri was better in every line and when "La Selecta" did manage to step into Alfredo Talavera’s area, it was down to an error from the midfielders or the defenders.
The score does not reflect Mexico’s countless scoring opportunities.
The squad had a better game compared to Guyana and Costa Rica, which has to be acknowledged, but at times the players seemed off the pace, especially inside the box.
They can be an ever better team, more accurate and organized. As it has happened before, when they faced bigger teams.