Mexico scored twice in the first half and added one more goal in the 72nd minute for a 3-0 win over Canada in Friday's CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match in Vancouver.
It's been a dominant stretch for Mexico when these two teams get together, per SportsCenter:
Mexico shuts out Canada, 3-0, defeating them for the 6th straight game. pic.twitter.com/lxtg74CjWD— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 26, 2016
Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez scored the opening goal in the 31st minute of the match on a header from the center of the box. Eight minutes later, Hirving Lozano found the right bottom corner of the net for the 2-0 lead heading into halftime.
Chicharito's header came off a blazing pass by Miguel Layun from the left side, via Soccer.com:
Chicharito, still on fire https://t.co/rx64fdTlQ7— SOCCER.COM (@soccerdotcom) March 26, 2016
Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle documented Chicharito's goal, which was capped off by some brilliant passing by the Mexicans:
Golazo! Chicharito put El Tri ahead 1-0 over Canada with a powerful header, capping a beautiful sequence of passes.— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) March 26, 2016
In the second half, Mexico's defense continued to contain Canada's attack. The Canadians had seven shots compared to Mexico's 19, but Canada only had two on target for the entire match. One of those 19 shots came from Jesus Manuel Corona in the 72nd minute to give Mexico the three-goal advantage.
Mexico dominated this match from the get-go, and Cesar Hernandez of ESPN FC reminded all invested in this match of one eye-widening fact:
Just a reminder that Mexico is doing this away. They'll play against Canada at home next week.— Cesar Hernandez (@cesarhfutbol) March 26, 2016
And this type of performance was surely not expected for the record crowd that showed up at BC Place Stadium, per Canada Soccer:
But for the fans who showed up, it wasn't a match that featured only soccer players and officials. Some fans with the urge to run on the pitch got in on the action as well, per Marc Weber from The Province:
Lamest pitch invasion ever. Lone fan. No one really notices. Security does nothing. He ends up running out of gas. Being led away now.— Marc Weber (@ProvinceWeber) March 26, 2016
Just one more streaker and Canada for sure locks up the all-important 7th tie-breaker.— Marc Weber (@ProvinceWeber) March 26, 2016
And ex-86er/Canada chiro Garret Kusch absolutely levels one moron pitch invader. Amazing. Idiots. But we definitely got that 7th tie-breaker— Marc Weber (@ProvinceWeber) March 26, 2016
It's now Mexico 3, Canadian Streakers 2, Canada 0, BC Place Security -2. #canMNT— Marc Weber (@ProvinceWeber) March 26, 2016
Gregor Young also shared this picture of one of the fans being taken to the ground by security:
You won't see a better photo from tonight's game pic.twitter.com/3FYvPO6h98— Gregor Young (@GregorYoung) March 26, 2016
With a trip to Mexico looming for Canada, this is a desperate situation for the Canadians. If they want any chance of making a run in CONCACAF, they'll need to play better than Friday. Mexico, on the other hand, looks like the strong favorites to rival the United States as tournament play continues.
Canada manager Benito Floro was happy with how his team played, despite the shutout loss, per Canada Soccer:
Canadian midfielder Will Johnson said he knew what Mexico would bring to the table, but he felt his team didn't execute the way he would've preferred.
"I tend to think it's more of the way that we didn't execute what we were trying to do versus what they did,” Johnson said, per Martin MacMahon of Sportsnet. “They're going to do what they're going to do. They're a good team. We knew what they were going to do, but I feel we let ourselves down. We showed we weren't as sharp as we needed to be and our structure wasn't very good."
Floro was adamant, however, about how crucial these next few games will be, per MacMahon:
For us, these two games—this one, and the next, and the next come in June, are very important. We need to increase our level playing games, official games. So, we are going to extract what is important from this game, positive and negative…and to increase the positive, and, to think only to win in Mexico. This is the way.