Mexico bolstered by European tour tests

Mexico players (pictured) convene for a team photo prior to their international friendly against host Poland on November 13, 2017, in Gdansk, Poland. (Photo: Mexsport)

GDANSK, Poland – After a demanding year that resulted in a seventh consecutive FIFA World Cup berth, Mexico got to flex its Russia-bound muscles in two European friendlies over five days.

On Friday, the Tricolor recorded a 3-3 draw at Belgium (#5 FIFA ranked), before earning a 1-0 win over Poland (#6 FIFA ranked) on Monday.

Head coach Juan Carlos Osorio was impressed by his team’s performances against a pair of sides expected to contend for a world championship next year.

“To come, to compete in two marvelous scenarios against two extraordinary national teams and compete on the field, toe-to-toe, face-to-face, with the best. I think it should catch the eye of every Mexican that is watching and supporting their national team,” said the 56-year-old.

While the victory at Arena Gdansk gave Mexico a final record for 2017 of 15W-5D-5L, Osorio was far more focused on the positives to emerge from the season’s final 180 minutes.

He observed 22 players in a competitive environment, handing a senior debut to 21-year-old midfielder Omar Govea, who came on as a second-half substitute against the Polish.

“Most important in the evaluation, and on this tour, is that we were able to give an opportunity to everybody or almost everybody,” Osorio finished.  “We realize that we really have capacity, understanding that here are many factors to improve, but we have the capacity to compete against almost anybody.”




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