Mexico will head into its big showdown against the USA on Nov. 12 as the first-place team in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying standings after a scrappy 2-0 road win in El Salvador. With six of 14 qualifiers out of the way, El Tri has picked up 14 points from a possible 18 as it stays on track to qualify for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
The winning goal was scored on a first-half corner kick by Mexico center back Hector Moreno, who applied the header on a Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona delivery. The second goal came deep in second-half stoppage time on a Raul Jimenez penalty kick after the Wolves forward was brought down in the box on a solo run. It was his first goal for Mexico since November 2020 following a long spell on the sidelines due to a fractured skull.
El Salvador rarely caused any issues for Mexico outside of the odd long-distance shot or cross into the box. El Tri’s back line calmly dealt with anything that the home team threw its way.
MORE: Qualifying standings, schedule & highlights
A comeback seemed unlikely for El Salvador when a few minutes after halftime it was reduced to 10 men for denying Mexico an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. Emergency center back Mario Jacobo pulled down Mexico striker Rogelio Funes Mori, who was heading toward goal and Canadian referee Drew Fischer did not hesitate to show a straight red.
But then the home crowd at the Estadio Cuscatlan got back into the game when Mexican defender Nestor Araujo was shown two yellow cards in an 11-minute span to leave the teams 10-on-10 for the final 20 minutes of the match. El Salvador upped the pressure and pushed numbers forward, but still couldn’t do much to trouble Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo ‘Memo’ Ochoa.
Mexico national team coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino made eight changes to the starting lineup from the Mexico team that beat Honduras 3-0 on Sunday. He also had a couple of injury substitutions to make for starting left winger Alexis Vega (21st minute) and left back Osvaldo Rodriguez (62nd minute).
After six matches Mexico has the most points (14), wins (4) and goals scored (tied with Canada on 10), along with the best goal difference (+7) of any of the other eight teams in the region vying for berths in the 2022 World Cup.
El Salvador vs. Mexico final score
MEX — Hector Moreno (Jesus Corona) — 30th min.
MEX — Raul Jimenez (penalty) — 93rd min.
El Salvador vs. Mexico live updates, highlights from World Cup qualifier
Standings and results: Updated World Cup qualifying table
(All times Eastern)
Final: El Salvador 0, Mexico 2
93rd min.: Raul Jimenez slots it home! Nice and calm as water bottles were hurled from the stands.
91st min.: Penalty for Mexico! Raul Jimenez does it all by himself, rounding the El Salvador defense and charging into the box where he’s brought down by Eduard Vigil. He’s going to take this penalty himself.
90th min.: Four minutes of stoppage time.
83rd min.: Mexico back to absorbing pressure. El Salvador is making its late push, but its movements are not as cohesive as they’ve been in the past. There’s no flow to La Selecta’s game.
81st min.: Great play by Tecatito Corona in the El Salvador box. He connects with Hector Herrera for the give-and-go and gets this shot off. It came close:
80th min.: Another yellow card shown to Raul Jimenez. Mexico doing all it can to hold on.
76th min.: SUBS – Triple change for El Salvador as Joshua Perez, Amando Moreno and Marcelo Diaz are in for Bryan Tamacas, Isaac Portillo and Marvin Monterroza.
75th min.: The fans are responding and El Salvador draws a foul in Mexico’s half. Yellow for Hector Moreno … two minutes later it’s Hector Herrera seeing yellow.
70th min.: Last sub for Mexico in response to the red card: Chucky Lozano is off and right back Chaka Rodriguez comes on. And now the crowd is back in this.
67th min.: What did Nestor Araujo do! Sent off! He’s on a yellow and raises his arm to stop an Alexander Larin attack. It’s an obvious second yellow and a big mistake by the center back. He’ll miss the match against the USA next month. It’s 10 on 10!
66th min.: Raul Jimenez wanted a penalty! The referee doesn’t award it although it seemed pretty clear.
62nd min.: SUBS – Fans are growing impatient. Mexico is killing a lot of time. Left back Osvaldo Rodriguez stays down for some time after a clash. Then come the subs: Jesus Gallardo for Rodriguez, Hector Herrera for Orbelin Pineda in midfield and Raul Jimenez for Rogelio Funes Mori at center forward.
57th min.: El Salvador captain Alex Roldan fires a hopeful shot at goal. Meanwhile, his head coach Hugo Perez brings in fresh legs at forward with Walmer Martinez on for Joaquin Rivas.
56th min.: Mexico center back Nestor Araujo is carded for ramming into the back of El Salvador’s Enrico Duenas, easily the most enterprising from La Selecta’s players.
55th min.: It’s easy now for Mexico. El Tri passes the ball all the way from Memo Ochoa into the El Salvador box, a loose ball falls to Orbelin Pineda, but he misses the target. The second Mexico goal feels like it’s only a matter of time.
51st min.: SUB – Down to 10 men, El Salvador brings on Lizandro Claros for midfielder Darwin Ceren. Claros slots into the back line at right center back. El Salvador was already missing several starting central defenders going into this one. Losing Jacobo is the last thing it needed.
48th min.: Red card! So much for a comeback. El Salvador’s Mario Jacobo is sent off for bringing down Rogelio Funes Mori on his way into the box. The straight red seemed harsh. On the free kick, Jesus Corona comes close, but hits the outside netting.
46th min.: Second half is underway.
Halftime: El Salvador 0, Mexico 1
Halftime: Mexico gained a grip of this game from the very start and was patient throughout that first half. Outside of the odd cross into the box or a shot from outside the area, there wasn’t much created. So it was no surprise that the breakthrough goal came on a set piece by Hector Moreno. Mexico has been cruising since. El Salvador seems like it’s capable of springing a dangerous attack at any moment, led by Enrico Duenas, but it’s not proving to be that dangerous so far.
40th min.: This match is stumbling to the first-half break. Not much happening in the penalty areas.
36th min.: That should’ve been a red card against El Salvador. Studs showing the whole way by Isaac Portillo and he takes out Mexico’s Luis Romo who stays down for a bit. Only a yellow card shown to Portillo for reckless play.
30th min.: GOAL MEXICO! On a corner kick from the left side, Hector Moreno applies the header, nodding it in side the far post. Good thing for Mexico he stayed in the game. He’s their best weapon on corner kicks.
27th min.: YELLOW CARD – Things are getting chippy and it’s Chucky Lozano who gets a yellow for going in hard and slightly raising his arm against Bryan Tamacas. Those two aren’t done tonight.
25th min.: Another injury for Mexico. Clash of legs leaves Hector Moreno limping. We’ll see if he can continue.
23rd min.: Chucky Lozano and El Salvador right back Bryan Tamacas come together on the left touch line and referee Drew Fischer has a warning for Chucky, who’s stunned. He thought he suffered the foul. Chucky is staying on the left and Tecatito is actually wide right.
21st min.: SUB – Vega’s not right and has to come off for Mexico. Tecatito Corona is his replacement and will play wide left in the attack.
La suerte de Chivas..
Lesionado Alexis Vega 😬😬
— Alejandro de la Rosa (@adelarosa) October 14, 2021
18th min.: Chance for El Salvador. That guy again, Enrico Duenas gets another cross off from the left, but the ball circulates back to Alexander Larin who fires toward Mexico’s goal, but can’t get it on target (wide right).
16th min.: Alexis Vega goes up to challenge for a header near midfield and upon landing he has an issue with his right ankle. He walks off the field with the trainer and we’ll see if he can continue.
13th min.: Alexis Vega wins a corner kick and Mexico left back Osvaldo Rodriguez gets a header on it. Closer to the target than Chucky’s header earlier in the game.
11th min.: Araujo is back on right after El Salvador’s first real threat in the Mexico penalty area. Enrico Duenas lofts a ball across the face of goal but no one’s there. Mexico clears.
9th min.: Injury alert. Mexico center back Nestor Araujo hits the deck and the training staff is working on his left shoulder. Johan Vasquez is warming up in case.
5th min.: You thought that maybe Mexico would have to absorb some early pressure on the road. But it’s the opposite. Mexico has taken some of the air out of the building, knocking the ball around. Alexis Vega fired a shot right at the ‘keeper. Looking good for Mexico early.
3rd min.: Early half-chance for Mexico. Cross from the left and Chucky Lozano beats the left back to the ball, but he can’t get his header on target.
1st min.: We’re off. Mexico in white with the ball to start.
10:03 p.m.: No matter which team you root for, this is cool:
10:02 p.m.: A feel for what it’s like inside the Estadio Cuscatlan:
10:00 p.m.: Mexico anthem first. In the meantime, what a photo:
9:48 p.m.: “This game is everything for El Salvador” about sums it up.
9:46 p.m.: Eight lineup changes are a lot from one game to the next. Memories of JCO. Didn’t work out for the USA in Panama, but this Mexican side should be talented enough to beat a shorthanded El Salvador.
¿REGRESÓ OSORIO? 😅⚽🇲🇽
El ‘Tata’ Martino realizó 8 cambios con respecto al último partido de la Selección mexicana:
– Araujo por Montes
– ‘Cata’ por ‘Chaka’
– Osvaldo por Gallardo
– Romo por Edson
– Charly por HH
– Orbelín por Córdova
– Vega por ‘Tecatito’
– Funes Mori por RJ9 pic.twitter.com/gmK3oGeSGe
— Fanbolero (@fanbolero) October 14, 2021
9:40 p.m.: Waiting on the warmups to wrap:
9:38 p.m.: Here are the lineups for tonight:
8:45 p.m.: And here’s the Mexico arrival:
El Salvador vs. Mexico: Lineups
El Salvador has several important players missing for this match, which will complicate things significantly. Center back Roberto Dominguez is suspended for yellow-card accumulation, and the Cuscatlecos were already without starting-caliber central defenders Eriq Zavaleta (concussion) and Ronald Gomez Rodriguez, who’s recovering from a fracture. The fill-in options are inexperienced.
As if that weren’t enough of a wrench in the team’s plans, it will also be without two starting midfielders: Narciso Orellana sits out after his red card against Costa Rica, and midfielder Jairo Henriquez will be unavailable after he pulled his right hamstring in the same game.
El Salvador lineup (4-4-2, left to right): 1-Mario Antonio Gonzalez-GK — 13-Alexander Larin, 6-Mario Jacobo, 16-Eduardo Vigil, 21-Bryan Tamacas — 20-Enrico Hernandez, 4-Isaac Portillo, 7-Darwin Ceren, 15-Alex Roldan (c) — 12-Marvin Monterroza, 11-Joaquin Rivas
El Salvador subs: 18-Yonatan Guardado-GK, 22-Kevin Carabantes-GK, 2-Lizandro Claros, 3-Jose Villalobos, 23-Herberth Marcelo Diaz, 5-Christian Martinez, 19-Denis Pineda, 14-Pablo Punyed, 10-Amando Moreno, 8-Joshua Perez, 9-Walmer Martinez, 17-Cristian Gil Hurtado
Plenty of changes by Mexico’s Tata Martino for the third and final match of the October window. He was already missing starting defenders Cesar Montes (yellow card accumulation) and Jorge Sanchez (muscle injury) and both have already returned to their club teams. Center forward Henry Martin is back from injury and is available off the bench.
Mexico starting lineup (4-3-3, left to right): 13-Guillermo ‘Memo’ Ochoa-GK (c) — 5-Osvaldo Rodriguez, 15-Hector Moreno, 2-Nestor Araujo, 4-Julio Cesar ‘El Cata’ Dominguez — 10-Orbelin Pineda, 7-Luis Romo, 8-Carlos ‘Charly’ Rodriguez — 20-Alexis Vega, 11-Rogelio Funes Mori, 22-Hirving ‘Chucky’ Lozano
Mexico subs: 1-Jonathan Orozco-GK, 12-Rodolfo Cota-GK, 3-Johan Vasquez, 23-Jesus Gallardo, 21-Luis ‘Chaka’ Rodriguez, 18-Andres Guardado, 6-Jonathan Dos Santos, 16-Hector Herrera, 14-Sebastian Cordova, 19-Henry Martin, 17-Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona, 9-Raul Jimenez (Not in squad: Edson Alvarez, Uriel Antuna, Alfredo Talavera-GK)
How to watch El Salvador vs. Mexico
- Date: Wednesday, Oct. 13
- Time: 10 p.m. ET
- TV Channels: CBS Sports Network (CBSSN)
- Spanish-language TV: Telemundo, Universo
- Streaming: fuboTV , Paramount+
The El Salvador vs. Mexico match will be available in English and Spanish in the USA. CBS Sports Network (English) and Telemundo and Universo (Spanish) will carry the TV broadcasts. All three networks are streamed on fuboTV , which is available for a free 7-day trial to new subscribers .
Paramount+ subscribers will also get access to the match stream in English.
El Salvador vs. Mexico: Betting odds & prediction
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
Pick: Mexico -1.25 Asian Handicap (+100)
El Salvador’s home-field advantage should help keep the game close to start, but Mexico simply has too much quality and El Salvador is error-prone and missing key players in defense. With another trio of top attackers ready to come off the bench to keep up the pressure, Mexico should have the wherewithal to put together a multi-goal win.
The -1.25 Asian Handicap offers a bit of insurance should Mexico only manage a one-goal win. Since the -1.25 bet is split evenly over -1 and -1.5 spreads, half the bet would be refunded in that case.
Prediction: El Salvador 0, Mexico 2
- Moneyline: El Salvador +700 / Draw +340 / Mexico -270
- Spread: El Salvador +1.5 (-165) / Mexico -1.5 (+120)
- O/U 2.5 total goals: Over +115 / Under -150
- Both Teams To Score: Yes +165 / No -225