Mexico 3 Venezuela 1: Alvarez injury sours win

By Sports Desk June 05, 2019

Mexico continued their winning record under Gerardo Martino, but a 3-1 victory over Venezuela was soured by an injury to Edson Alvarez.

Alvarez came off in the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, where Mexico continued preparations for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

After Jhon Murillo put Venezuela ahead, Mexico were dominant for the most part, deservedly equalising through Roberto Alvarado.

Rodolfo Pizarro and Andres Guardado struck after half-time as Mexico made it three from three since Martino took charge in January.

While Mexico put Venezuela under enormous pressure early, they fell behind in the 18th minute.

Murillo's effort from the right, which appeared to be a cross, flew over Mexico goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco and in via the underside of the crossbar.

Mexico almost responded immediately through Alvarado, who poked wide at an open goal after confusion at the back for Venezuela.

Alvarado was a constant threat, also firing wide in the 25th minute, before he deservedly equalised just after the half-hour mark.

A cross from the right went uncleared and Pizarro managed a touch into the path of Alvarado, who blasted in from close range for his first international goal.

However, Venezuela almost restored their lead on the stroke of half-time, but Yordan Osorio's header from a corner hit the post.

Mexico went ahead nine minutes into the second half, Jesus Gallardo picking out Pizarro from the left to tap in.

Only a brilliant close-range save from Venezuela goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez denied Raul Jimenez after the hour-mark, but Guardado made no mistake with his chance in the 76th minute.

Introduced off the bench, the midfielder drilled a low finish into the bottom corner from inside the area to seal the win.


What does it mean? Mexico show off depth

While extending their winning streak under Martino, Mexico also showcased their depth ahead of the Gold Cup. Having started a relatively inexperienced line-up, Martino would have been pleased with what he saw in what was a strong performance.

Alvarado and Pizarro impress

Alvarado, the 20-year-old once linked with Manchester United, scored his first international goal and was a constant threat for Mexico. Pizarro, meanwhile, finished with an assist and his fourth goal at international level.

Alvarez injury a worry

Alvarez's suspected leg injury is a concern for Mexico. The defensive midfielder came off in the first half after being on the receiving end of a late challenge and Martino will be hopeful the blow is nothing serious.

What's next?

Mexico's final friendly before the Gold Cup is against Ecuador on Sunday, while Venezuela will face the United States on the same day as they continue preparations for the Copa America.

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