Even when Mexico looks a bit slow and lifeless, they are still good enough to dominate most of their competition in CONCACAF play. That was the case for much of Tuesday's match with El Salvador, as two late goals secured a 2-0 win.
To be fair, El Tri had very little to play for other than pride and maintaining their winning streak. They secured an advancement from Group B play almost without taking the pitch, and the top seed was settled three games ago.
What Mexico did prove is that their technical abilities are enough to stymie lesser offensive attacks.
Oribe Peralta found the net in the 63rd minute, following up on the keeper's deflect of an Ángel Reyna shot. This was shortly after Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez entered the game.
Chicharito added a goal of his own in the 84th minute.
The overall stats for Mexico in the third round were staggering. In six games, they scored 15 goals and all 18 points. They only surrendered two goals.
Granted, the quality of opponents will increase in the next round. El Salvador and Guyana will be replaced by the likes of Honduras, Panama, Jamaica, and the top-seed heading into play, the United States.
But to be fair, those seeds were established early in 2011.
What team wins the hex round?
Mexico has found a bit of success on the pitch since then, even if much of it was with the younger players. They've moved "all the way up" to 19th, while the United States has slipped to 32nd...behind the likes of Ghana, Algeria and Mali.
Perhaps the CONCACAF teams have a bit of work to do on the international scene.
Mexico is primed to make a run, though. They have a great offense and are solid on defense.
Their goal in the hex round will be to prime themselves for World Cup play. The three top teams advance and the Mexican side is a sure bet to be there.
They will still be a year ahead of the World Cup but testing some of their younger players will be a solid advantage for El Tri.