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New roster, same problems as Colombia defeats Mexico, 3-2

Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
In a friendly featuring many debuts and firsts, Mexico made many of the same mistakes in a 3-2 loss to Colombia Saturday night.

LOS ANGELES — The Mexican National Team allowed three unanswered goals in a 3-2 loss to Colombia Saturday evening, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. 

With many European based players and players whose Liga MX seasons are still ongoing not getting called up for this friendly, Jaime Lozano rolled out a starting lineup featuring seven players making their debuts for the national team.

While some might consider this a lackluster lineup compared to Mexico’s ‘A’ squad, thousands of fans filled the seats at the Coliseum. 64,609 fans to be exact.

While the friendly was not a sellout, the Coliseum’s capacity is 78,000, it did end up being Mexico’s highest attended friendly in the States in 2023.

Lozano was also impressed by the output he received from his players given the timing of this national team camp and the shorter training period because of it.

“I loved it and I think the performance was even higher than I expected because we had four days. And it’s not justification, simply because we don’t stop fighting, because we have good players. We showed that at times,” Lozano said afterwards.

Although there were many new faces on the pitch, Mexico made many of the same mistakes on it as well. The last time these teams met for a friendly, Mexico conceded three times after going ahead 2-0, in a 3-2 loss last March.

Guillermo ‘Memo’ Martínez made the most of his opportunity debuting for Mexico, earning a goal and an assist in 90 minutes played.

Martínez scored Mexico’s second goal early in the first half, finishing a second-chance opportunity after a shot deflected by Colombian keeper David Ramirez in the 50th.

Five minutes later, Andres Reyes would score the lone goal of the night for Colombia not very long after Martinez’s goal to make the score 2-1.

Colombia’s Roger Martinez would even the score at 2 goals apiece not too long after in the 70th minute.

Then in stoppage time, Carlos Gomez put Colombia ahead for the first and final time all night to make the score 3-2.

Lozano wasn’t pleased with the results but praised his team’s efforts, despite the mental mistakes.

”I think we were making the game a little easier than it was, because we knew that Colombia was going to be complicated. But well things to correct. Lack of experience, it happened to us in Honduras, it happens to us again. We have an issue not finishing plays… it’s unacceptable to me, but, I think we did many more things well than we did wrong.”

The first 45 minutes were relatively uneventful up until the closing frame of the half, when Mexico finally gave those in attendance something to cheer for.

Omar Govea scored his first goal representing the national team to put Mexico ahead, 1-0 just before the half. 

Govea started the play with a takeaway in the midfield, then he tapped the ball towards Guillermo ‘Memo’ Martinez, who gave the ball right back to Govea and earned an assist in his debut to put Mexico ahead, 1-0.

Looking ahead, Mexico has the CONCACAF Nations League semifinal against Panama in March. Colombia doesn’t have a match scheduled prior to next year’s Copa América in June.

“We will obviously have Nations League and a tournament that we can’t forget about at the moment I have been able to win and the Copa América, which will be the most important tournament,” Lozano said afterwards.