Sports Desk, Nov 16 (EFE).- Mexico’s 2-1 defeat to Sweden on Wednesday in their final outing before World Cup 2022 in Qatar is likely to leave fans of El Tri unsettled.
Facing a Swedish side that failed to qualify for the quadrennial tournament, the Mexicans came up short in ways that could prove fatal when they confront Robert Lewandowski-led Poland next Tuesday the World Cup opener for both teams.
Mexico and Poland will be joined in Group C by Argentina and Saudi Arabia.
The only bright spots for Mexico coming out of the match in Girona, Spain, were Alexis Vega’s goal and Raul Jimenez’s return to action after missing three months to injury.
El Tri started ambitiously and both Vega and Luis Chavez forced stops from Sweden goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt inside the first 10 minutes.
The Mexicans would go on to have more than 80 percent possession in the first half, yet they created only one additional opportunity before the break, a shot by Uriel Antuna that hit the cross-bar.
Mexico coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino made three changes to start the second half, bringing on Jimenez, Andres Guardado and Hirving Lozano.
The Latin Americans nearly broke the deadlock in the 54th minute, but Jorge Sanchez’s strike bounced off the post. Sweden’s Mattias Svanberg collected the ball and raced down the pitch and directed a cross to Marcus Rohden, who put the Swedes up 1-0.
Mexico were quick to respond, drawing level five minutes later thanks to Vega.
But with six minutes left in regulation, Svanberg beat Mexico keeper Guillermo Ochoa to win it for Sweden. EFE