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Copa America 2024: Mexico stunned by Venezuela; El Tri at risk of group stage elimination

Written by on June 27, 2024

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Trouble is brewing for the Mexican national team as they fell 1-0 to the Venezuelan national team on Wednesday night. With the victory, Venezuela have qualified for the knockout rounds of Copa America, and while it isn’t over for Mexico, it does feel like it as El Tri had multiple chances to win the match. Not only did they provide Venezuela with the chance for their only goal as Julián Quiñones fouled Jon Aramburu for a penalty that Salomón Rondón buried, but at the death, Mexico were awarded a penalty due to a handball that Orbelin Pineda essentially rolled into the hands of Rafael Romo.

El Tri dominated the opening moments of the match but after big calls such as leaving Hirving Lozano and Raúl Jiménez home, players like Santiago Giménez weren’t able to step up to vindicate Jamie Lozano’s choices. After already crashing out during the group stage of the 2022 World Cup, Mexico now risk suffering the same fate at Copa America this year.

Mexico had their chances taking 17 shots for 2.58 xG and putting five on target in comparison to Venezuela’s 10 shots for 1.19 xG and two shots on target, but what matters is the final score. Rondón’s holdup play was excellent and La Vinotinto made the necessary changes introducing Cristian Casseres Jr. at half to deal with Mexico’s midfield but Lozano didn’t have a counter.

After squeaking by Jamaica on matchday one, the stage is now set for a clash with Ecuador where the winner will advance to the knockout round. As El Tri have gotten visibly frustrated in tight moments of a match, their mentality will be put to the test facing one of the outside contenders for this tournament. All eyes are on what chances Lozano will make as without Edson Álvarez to steady the midfield, someone needs to step up to lead Mexico to the knockouts or there will only be more questions for him and the federation as a whole. 

Gimenez concerns

There are always differences between players’ form for club and county but when it comes to Gimenez, he just hasn’t shown that he can be the guy to lead the line for El Tri. In 29 matches for the Mexican national team, he has four goals and two assists compared to 26 goals and eight assists in all competitions for Feyenoord last season. Without Henry Martin available, it remains to be seen what Mexico can do especially after Gimenez was automatic in league play.

Defensively, El Tri have been fine but their attack just hasn’t meshed. The addition of Colombian-born Quiñones was supposed to be a boon but even he has seemed to be pushing too hard in matches. When Mexico have strong support in the United States, it can turn into additional pressure as fans booed them off the pitch in the first half against Jamaica and were frustrated watching the missed chances against Venezuela. Falling to Ecuador would be something that calls for a change in direction but after already changing so much over the past few years, where would the Mexican federation even go ahead of the 2026 World Cup?

The post Copa America 2024: Mexico stunned by Venezuela; El Tri at risk of group stage elimination first appeared on CBS Sports.

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