Mexico ratings: Araujo abysmal as defense collapses vs. Argentina
Simply put: Mexico was thrashed on Tuesday night. In a friendly against El Tri, Argentina completely obliterated the North American side that limped to a 4-0 loss at the Alamodome in San Antonio. The result marks the first defeat in 2019 for Mexico manager Gerardo "Tata" Martino.
A silver-lining is that this was a humbling and necessary moment for Mexico. Keeping in mind that the team appeared to be on cloud nine after last week's 3-0 win over the United States, Tuesday's result was a much-needed reminder of the progress that still needs to be made by the Mexican squad -- especially if it wishes to become one of the elite national sides in the world.
The defense was in shambles, the midfield regularly failed to recover the ball and it looked like the frontline was constantly running into an Argentine brick wall. All that said, the center of the backline was by far the weak-link in the XI. Mexico has once again been left with more questions than answers when it comes to deciding the ideal central defensive partnership.
Manager rating (out of 10)
4 -- Although Martino fielded arguably his best XI, he couldn't find a way to breakdown Argentina's organized approach. Most importantly, when Mexico looked completely devastated defensively, the manager didn't do much to alter or help rearrange it. A forgetful evening for the coach.
Player ratings (1-10, with 10 the best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Guillermo Ochoa, 3 -- Despite the fact that Ochoa shouldn't be given most of the blame, the goalkeeper couldn't halt a handful of the shots that the opposition launched towards him.
DF Miguel Layun, 4 -- A quiet start to the game eventually developed into a more active role in the second half. Nonetheless, it was too little too late for Layun.
DF Carlos Salcedo, 2 -- Salcedo's handball and poor coverage directly had a role in two of the goals that Mexico allowed. Very few positive moments from the central defender who never built good chemistry with Nestor Araujo in the backline.
DF Nestor Araujo, 1 -- Araujo finished with the worst performance by a Mexican player in the Martino era. The La Liga player looked shell-shocked as he created mistake after mistake and gifted Argentina easy opportunities.
DF Jesus Gallardo, 3 -- The 25-year-old was atypically lost on the left flank. Argentina's defense did an excellent job of silencing Gallardo's occasional high-pressing sprints throughout the evening.
MF Jonathan dos Santos, 5 -- One of the few Mexican players who could (possibly) hold his head slightly high. Dos Santos never seemed to stop running as he chased the ball and desperately attempted to create the build-up of attacking plays.
MF Edson Alvarez, 3 -- Argentine players constantly dashed past the defensive midfielder with ease in the win. An early yellow seemed to have thrown off the Ajax youngster who was partially at fault for one of the goals allowed.
MF Hector Herrera, 4 -- Herrera struggled with winning the ball back for Mexico. Like Alvarez, the midfielder was seen chasing the ball on too many occasions.
FW Jesus Corona, 5 -- Credit is due to "Tecatito" for at least trying to make something happen. The winger attempted to single-handedly salvage Mexico with his risk-taking and vertical dribbling in the final third.
FW Raul Jimenez, 4 -- With no real attacking support, Jimenez didn't see very much of possession on Tuesday. The Wolves player was never a threat once the ball came to his feet.
FW Hirving Lozano, 5 -- A subdued start was followed by some tenacious moments in the 2nd half that highlighted a hunger to make an impact. Despite these efforts, Argentina's defense controlled the pacey player who only had one shot in the game.
MF Carlos Rodriguez, 4 -- Substituted in for Herrera during the 63rd minute. Rodriguez's cameo appearance only featured a couple of dangerous passes and little else.
MF Marco Fabian, 4 -- Substituted in for Corona during the 63rd minute. The Mexico veteran was underwhelming as he failed to alter Mexico's chances in the final third as the No. 10.