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Mexico look to Gold Cup quarterfinals after victory clinches the group

Mexico look to Gold Cup quarterfinals after victory clinches the group
From ESPN - July 16, 2017

Although the match was surprisingly frustrating, Mexico were able to sneak past Curacao with a 2-0 win Sunday night. Following goals from Angel Sepulveda and Edson Alvarez and the ensuing capture of three points, Mexico has finished at the top of Group C in the Gold Cup.

Looking ahead, El Tri will need to prepare for its upcoming quarterfinal clash against Honduras on Thursday in Phoenix.

Positives

Whether or not you agree with the tactics of Juan Carlos Osorio, one thing is certain: The man knows how to get results. After a much criticized group-stage run, the currently suspended manager has found a way to emerge with a spot in first place.

In net, there's also something to be said for goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona. Despite his 36 years of age, Corona was brilliant with his game-changing saves. If Osorio continues to give him minutes, Mexico might be able to continue clinching scrappy victories.

Negatives

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the back line was again a massive problem for Mexico. Starters such as Cesar Montes, Luis Reyes, Jair Pereira and Luis Rodriguez should have easily been able to avoid the amount of problems seen in defense.

Up top, there also needs to be a striker who takes charge. Against Curacao, Martin Barragan failed to show up for El Tri. In the previous match against Jamaica, Erick "Cubo" Torres was fairly quiet. Sepulveda might be the answer here, but he is better suited on one of the wings.

Manager (rating out of 10)

6.5 -- Did Osorio's rotations have a negative influence? Should more of the blame be put on the several individuals who did not take the initiative against Curacao?

In the starting XI, most if not all players were in their natural positions. Also, a few names who failed to garner regular minutes earlier in the Gold Cup were given an opportunity to start. While the suspended Osorio sat far up in a club box, assistant Luis Pompilio Paez made clever substitutions in the second half that helped garner a win.

Osorio's penchant for a questionable number of rotations should be brought up, but on Sunday, his starters should have been able to look more in control against nonthreatening opposition.

Player ratings (1-10, with 10 the best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Jose de Jesus Corona, 9 -- Corona helped compensate for a porous back line that allowed eight shots on target. With his impressive saves, the veteran was Mexico's best player on Sunday night.

DF Luis Rodriguez, 5 -- Little impact in the attack and defense from El Tri's right-back. Rodriguez should have taken greater advantage of his first start in the tournament.

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