Hector Moreno and Raul Jimenez marked at Estadio Cuscatlan as Mexico to beat The Savior 2-0 Wednesday in the World Cup qualifiers. Victory is lifted Sorting at 14 points after six games on the way to Qatar 2022.
Moreno was one of three players who remained in Mexico’s starting lineup after the 3-0 victory over Honduras on Sunday. Goalkeeper Memo Ochoa and striker Hirving lozano were the other leftovers, as the team played their third game in a week. For the second window in a row, Mexico accumulated seven points en route to first place in the eight-team group. After starting the match list with a 1-1 draw against Canada at the Estadio Azteca, Sorting won back-to-back wins, including one on the road to Cuscatlan, one of CONCACAF’s toughest venues.
A corner shot by Crown of jesus found Moreno in the box in the 30th minute and the Monterrey defender flew over two markers to head past Mario Martinez. Moreno continued his great form at Cuscatlan – three of his six career goals for the national team came to the site. It was El Salvador’s first goal for Cuscatlan since the start of the World Cup qualifiers.
Mexico’s position appeared to strengthen after Mario Jacobo saw red at the start of the second half following a foul on Rogelio Funes Mori just outside El Salvador’s penalty area. Despite the one-man advantage, manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino seemed reluctant to let his players risk a more attacking position.
In the 67th minute, the defender Nestor araujo brought Mexico down to 10 men, nullifying the advantage and opening the door for the home side to press once again in search of an equalizer. Araujo received a second yellow card after a foul on Alexandre larine.
The expulsion prompted Martino to make his fifth and final game change, removing Lozano in favor of Luis Rodriguez, who entered from the right-back and prompted Julio Cesar Dominguez to slide in place of Araujo.
In the 90th minute, Jimenez removed any doubt by beating Eduardo Vigil on a long run that extended into the box. Vigil slipped in from behind and knocked Jimenez down, prompting referee Drew Fischer to call a penalty. Jimenez stepped in to take the kick himself, sending Martinez the wrong way. It was the Wolverhampton Wanderers 28th goal of the striker for his national team since 2013.
Next, Mexico face three straight away games in the next qualifying window, starting with a visit to the United States November 12. El Salvador, which fell to seventh after the loss, will host Jamaica at Cuscatlan.