Jose Juan Vazquez stars for Mexico in shaky match vs. Honduras
Worries continue to mount for Mexico before the start of the Gold Cup. The team hasn't won in its past seven matches and star striker Javier Hernandez appears to be doubtful for the upcoming tournament after leaving Mexico's 0-0 draw with Honduras with a collarbone injury.
Wednesday night proved that with a more defensive and physical approach, a squad like Honduras can scrape by against Mexico. Los Catrachos did an excellent job absorbing El Tri's attack and shut down Mexico with their aggressive style of play. Even if Mexico was unlucky to have not had a goal in the match, the result doesn't bode well for a side that has high expectations for the Gold Cup.
Player Ratings: (1-10, with 10 the best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating.)
GK Guillermo Ochoa, 7.5: The goalkeeper had little work to do early in the match but stepped up when necessary in the second half. In comparison to his previous game, the 29-year-old looked much more composed and was excellent with his movement off his line.
DF Paul Aguilar, 4: Struggled to create opportunities and was left creating poor crosses for Mexico in the first half. He became more quiet as the game progressed. Didn't do very much defensively as well.
DF Francisco Javier Rodriguez, 6: Not too much work for in defense until the last 20 minutes of the game. With Honduras sitting back throughout most of the match, the 33-year-old had a calm evening in the backline.
DF Diego Reyes, 6: Worked well alongside Rodriguez and also had no real trouble from Honduras until late in the friendly. The Reyes-Rodriguez partnership has passed its first test without injured veteran Hector Moreno.
DF Miguel Layun, 3: Layun was arguably the least influential player on the pitch. The Watford player saw little of the ball and had no presence in the attack. The move to a four-man backline has made it difficult for him to stand out.
MF Carlos Esquivel, 5: During the first half, Mexico focused most of its attacking movement through Esquivel and the right-hand side of the squad's formation. The midfielder provided good passes into the box, but remained less relevant in the second half.
MF Jose Juan Vazquez, 7.5: El Tri's best player of the night, he fought for every ball and was a key player with his interceptions and passes going forward. The Leon player undoubtedly has a spot in Mexico's starting XI for the Gold Cup.
MF Hector Herrera, 4.5: A very conservative performance for Herrera. The 25-year-old was predictable with the ball at his feet and couldn't break down the Honduran defense. Herrera had a couple of flashy moments but was ultimately not playing at his best form.
MF Andres Guardado, 5.5: Ran all over the midfield but couldn't provide much for Mexico in the attack. Guardado worked well with the squad but was slow against the opposition and wasn't able to control his side of the field.
FW Javier Hernandez, 6: Worked hard during his short time on the pitch, but he wasn't able to get past the Hondurans' physical defense. Hernandez had one the best opportunities in the first half but sent the ball wide of the net. Injured his collarbone right before halftime and left the match in the 40th minute.
FW Carlos Vela, 7: Vela was unlucky to not have a goal against Honduras. The 26-year-old hit the post twice in the first half and was a constant threatening presence on the pitch for Mexico.
FW Oribe Peralta, 5: Was substituted for Hernandez during the 41st minute and needed a good performance to justify more playing time, but he failed to have an impact up top for Mexico. Finished the game without a single shot on target.
FW Giovani dos Santos, 6.5: Was substituted in for Vela during the 57th minute and looked dangerous during his limited time on the field. Dos Santos was a catalyst for the Mexico attack. Nearly had a goal with a late free kick in the match.
MF Jesus Manuel Corona, 5: Was substituted in for Herrera during the 63rd minute. Corona had only a cameo appearance but was ineffective with his runs and dribbles during the match.
MF Jonathan dos Santos, N/A: Was substituted for Esquivel during the 76th minute.
MF Jesus Duenas, N/A: Was substituted in for Guardado during the 88th minute.
Cesar Hernandez covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @cesarhfutbol.