Big boys Mexico show their class
Bermuda 1 Mexico 5
Mexico showed their superior class to comfortably beat Bermuda in their Concacaf Nations League group B match last night at the National Stadium.
A near-capacity crowd of 4,003 watched as the Gold Cup champions showed why they are the top team in the region as Bermuda struggled to match their opponents. The visiting side, twelfth in Fifa’s world rankings, were held at bay by Bermuda for the first 25 minutes of the match when a brilliant pass by Hirving Lozano from 35 yards out opened up the Bermuda defence for Uriel Antuna to race into the box and round goalkeeper Dale Eve before scoring.
Mexico, quicker to settle into their rhythm, almost took the lead ten minutes earlier when captain Héctor Herrera, who plays for Spanish side Atlético Madrid, had his shot from 25 yards saved by Eve low to his left.
Bermuda earned their first corner a minute later as they began to settle down. However, Mexico continued to look the more dominant as the half wore on with their midfield providing some good service for their front men José Macías and Uriel Antuna.
A lob into the Bermuda box by Christian Calderon was half cleared before midfielder Sebastian Cordova followed up and tested Eve with a shot from the edge of the box that the goalkeeper saved to his left.
Bermuda were briefly down to ten men when Mexico doubled their lead in first half stoppage time. Left back Jalen Harvey was off receiving treatment, with sub Calon Minors warming up to replace him. However, before that substitution could be made, Mexico scored their second when a long ball into the left side of the box was headed into the middle by Cristian Calderón for Macías to drive a first time effort past Eve.
Minors did replace Harvey at the start of the second half as Bermuda came out determined to get an early goal to get back into the game. Three goals did come in a frantic first 15 minutes of the second half, but only one for Bermuda who, by the hour mark, were now facing a three-goal deficit at 4-1 down.
A pass out of the Bermuda box was intercepted with Macias adding his second when he scored from the rebound after Antuna’s shot was parried by Eve. A good finish at the other end three minutes produced a huge roar from the Bermuda fans when the home team got on the scoresheet through the in-form Nahki Wells.
Zeiko Lewis took the corner on the left, this time a short one into the box, and Wells snapped a left-footed shot into the roof of the net beyond the stretched arms of goalkeeper Rudolfo Cota.
Unfortunately hopes of a fightback were brief as Mexico struck again on the hour mark to reclaim their three-goal advantage, this time Lozano getting on the end of a ball into the box from the left side and driving his effort under the body of Eve who knew he should have done better with that effort.
Bermuda had just replaced Willie Clemons with Osagi Bascome a minute earlier for their second substitution.
Minutes later Mexico were awarded a penalty when Jaylon Bather was blown down for a handball, but there was a huge sigh of relief in the Bermuda camp when Lozano sent Eve the wrong way with his spot-kick only to see his effort hit the outside of the post.
They did get that fifth goal five minutes later — arguably the best of the game — when Donte Brangman was blown down for a free kick on the left. The free kick was touched short for captain Herrera who drove his shot into the far top corner.
Bermuda made their final change when both teams brought on their final substitutes in the 76th minute, with Justin Donawa coming on for Lewis and Ivan Rodríguez for Carlos Rodríguez in the Mexico midfield.
Erick Aguirre, another substitute, almost got in on the scoring act ten minutes from time, his shot from outside the box bringing off a save from Eve who tipped the ball over. Then Wells was denied a second goal when his free-kick from the right of the box was tipped over the bar.
The last Bermuda chance on the night fell to substitute Bascome, who curled another free kick just wide.
Bermuda: Wells 56
Mexico: Antuna 25, Macia 45+2, 53, Lozano 60, Herrera 70
Bermuda (4-5-1): D Eve — D Brangman, D Leverock, J Bather, J Harvey (sub: C Minors, 46min) — L Simmons, D Brangman, Z Lewis (sub: J Donawa, 76), W Clemons (sub: O Bascome, 59), M Butterfield — N Wells. Substitutes not used: J Hill, Q Hunt, C Basden, R Lee, P Douglas, C Robinson, T Ming, L Evans, D Richardson.
Mexico (4-4-2): R Cota — J Sanchez, N Araujo, H Herrera, C Saicedo — S Cordova (sub: E Aguirre, 63), C Rodriguez (sub: I Rodriguez, 76), H Lozano (sub: D Lainez, 72), C Calderon — J Macias, L Artuna. Substitutes not used: R Gudino, J Hernandez, G Arteaga, A Mozo, J Gonsalez, R Alvarado, J Vasquez, L Romo, R Pizarro.
Referee: H Bejarano (Costa Rica).
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