Mexico 1, Bolivia 0 | International Friendly Match Recap
Mexico picked up their first win since the World Cup on Tuesday evening, riding a first-half goal from Miguel Layun to a 1-0 win over Bolivia in front of a packed house at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.
Fielding an entirely new starting XI from their draw with Chile last Saturday, including an international debut for Chivas USA striker Erick 'Cubo' Torres, El Tri were comfortably the better team on the field, but failed to net more than once despite an array of promising looks in both halves.
The 21-year-old Torres, who was called in after registering 21 goals in 40 games since joining the Rojiblancos in July 2013, looked lively as he played the full 90 minutes and played a key part in Mexico's only goal of the game.
Despite comfortably controlling the opening stages of the match, El Tri were unable to put a shot on target until opening the scoring in the 18th minute. Torres worked a nice give-and-go with Javier Orozco to get the ball on his left foot just inside the area and unleash a shot. Bolivia ‘keeper Daniel Vaca reacted with a superb kick save, but was unable to repeat his heroics as Layun drove home the rebound.
Mexico opened up from there, finishing the half outshooting their opponents 13-0 and displaying good movement and interplay.
The best chances of the remainder of the first half came in quick succession towards the end of the period. In the 42nd minute, Javier Aquino cut inside and found Orozco, who spun away from his defender, but rolled his shot just wide. Two minutes later, Vaca did very well to get over and deny a wide open Aquino as he put a loose ball on frame.
Bolivia, who started Miami-born Holy Cross grad Alejandro Melean, started to show some signs of life after making four substitutions to begin the second half, and though Mexico goalkeeper Moises Munoz finally saw some action in the early stages of the half, the best chances continued to belong to El Tri.
In the 66th minute, Vaca did very well to tip over a looping, deflected shot from Layun, and denied Torres four minutes later after the young forward failed to make clean contact on the ball after spinning away from his marker. Torres also had a late chance snuffed out by a scrambling Bolivian defender as he tried to get inside for a shot.
The game came to a frenetic close as both sides hit the post in the final minutes – Mexico substitute Andres Guardado found the woodwork in the 86th minute, but Bolivia defender Ronald Eguino nearly equalized for the South Americans in stoppage time with a free header that was inches away from breaking Mexican hearts.
That final chance came with Bolivia down to 10 men, after defender Alejandro Ballivian was shown straight red by referee Chris Penso for making contact with the sideline official.