The Mexican national team played one of their best international exhibition friendly games against a powerful opponent at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. in their last tune-up game prior to traveling to Brazil to participate in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Portugal was up against the wall the entire second half, but with a lucky header in the final minute of compensation took the game 1-0.
The first half was pretty even with both teams not giving up much space on the pitch. The Portuguese were better with a couple of shots on goal against keeper Jose de Jesus Corona. But the Europeans did not have any luck in their shots and the game went to the break 0-0.
El Tri came out more aggressive in the second half taking it to the Portuguese. But goalkeeper Eduardo was on mark stopping anything that the Mexicans threw at him. Andres Guardado had the first shot from a distance, but went wide.
Giovani dos Santos also appeared and played a good game putting effort in the front. He was replaced by Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez who had several assists when he linked up with Hector Herrera and Alan Pulido. The Mexican squad grew as time moved forward.
The Portuguese players looked tired and beat as the Mexicans pushed forward forcing them on to their side of the field. It was only Eduardo’s reflexes under the posts that keep El Tri off the scoreboard. The final shot for the Mexicans was a play that left Pulido face-to-face with Eduardo who guessed the direction of Pulido’s shot to save his net.
A foul outside the area gave the Europeans the shot they needed to take the game. Joao Motinho took the free kick in the 90 +2 and found an unmarked Bruno Alves who jumped and headed the ball. He found Ochoa’s top far corner. The AC Ajaccio keeper dove but missed the ball by inches. The game ended 30 seconds later.
This was Mexico’s last game before traveling to Brazil to participate in the World Cup. Mexico is looking to make that step at Brazil 2014 and reach heights they have not since they hosted the tournament in 1986. El Tri faces Cameroon, host Brazil and Croatia in the group stage.
Portugal has one more preparation game. They will face North Ireland before moving to South America to participate in Brazil 2014. Portugal faces Germany, Ghana and the United States.