Mexico Settles for Draw vs. Ireland in 2019 Toulon Tournament

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJune 6, 2019

Mexico's Roberto Carlos Alvarado Hernandez, celebrates after scoring during the Under-21 Toulon soccer tournament final match, between England and Mexico, in Martigues, southern France, Saturday, June 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Claude Paris/Associated Press

Ireland and Mexico played out a 0-0 draw in Group C at the 2019 Tournoi Maurice Revello on Thursday. The goalless stalemate in France means Ireland stay top, while El Tri are second and level on points at the Toulon event.

Mexico were left to rely on goalkeeper Jose Hernandez more than once to keep Ireland's direct approach at bay. Simon Power and Connor Ronan were causing plenty of problems with their pace and power.

While Ireland were content to bombard El Tri with long balls and stretch their width, Mexico countered with technique and fluency in possession. Erick Aguirre shouldered the creative burden between the midfield and forward lines, while Joaquin Esquivel conducted play from deep.

Pachuca schemer Aguirre was getting on the ball often, but Ireland were disciplined enough to block off his through passes. West Ham United midfield anchor Conor Coventry was shielding the back four brilliantly and tracking Mexico's runs from out to in.

Neither side yielded much space in behind, which meant the first half ended goalless.

FreeSports 📺 @FreeSports_TV

⏱ Half time from @TournoiMRevello 🇮🇪 Rep of Ireland 0-0 Mexico 🇲🇽 A solid first half from Stephen Kenny's men! #IRLU21🇮🇪 | @FAIreland https://t.co/DfnSurJ3fL

Mexico opened things up after the restart, with Ian Torres causing problems. The Atlas winger tied defenders in knots on the right flank and consistently picked the right option.

It didn't help that striker Jesus Godinez was struggling to impose himself. Instead, Ireland centre-backs Conor Masterson and Dara O'Shea were able to bully the Guadalajara forward in the air.

Godinez was saved further punishment when he made way for Eduardo Aguirre with 20 minutes remaining.

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Torres comes close to breaking the deadlock for Mexico 😮 Still 0-0! #IREU21🇮🇪 | @FAIreland https://t.co/HPmYQLPEvh

The change didn't do much to alter Mexico's fluency going forward. While Ek Tri continued to toil in attacking areas, Adam Idah came close to winning it for Ireland when he headed narrowly wide after being picked out by a Ronan corner.

Jayson Molumby wasted another excellent chance for the group leaders, but a point was ultimately all either side deserved from a dour match where neither showed off their true attacking potential.


What's Next?

Ireland face Bahrain on Sunday, with Mexico in action against China later the same day.