SAN DIEGO, California – Defending champion Mexico (1W-0D-0L, 3 points) launched its 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign with an impressive 3-1 win over El Salvador (0-0-1, 0) on Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium.
Yet, the ever insatiable Tricolor is eager to get better before resuming Group C action on Thursday against Jamaica.
“There are many positive things and others to correct, above all because there are young players than have not had minutes in tournaments of this level,” said assistant coach Luis Pompilio Paez, who filled in for suspended head coach Juan Carlos Osorio. “This is a senior national team. It represents a footballing country, but as the championship continues, we are going to improve.”
Mexico improved to 11W-0D-2L in Gold Cup openers. Paez believes an initial win sets a good tone and sends an appropriate message.
“Undoubtedly, to begin by winning is very important, because there are three [group stage] matches to qualification [for the next round],” he commented. “That gives the team a lot of confidence. In any match, there are things to correct, but it is easier to do it by winning.”
Thursday’s meeting with the Reggae Boyz is a rematch of their 2015 Gold Cup final, which Mexico won, 3-1. Only one player on the champion’s roster – midfielder Jesus Dueñas -- started in that match. The sides also squared off in last year’s Copa America Centenario, resulting in a 2-0 triumph for the Mexicans.
Like Mexico, Jamaica’s current roster bears slight resemblance to the ones that competed in those tournaments.
“It is going to be a nice match,” concluded Paez. “In the Copa America, we faced them. Although, they do not have the same team that made things difficult for us.”