Mexico dominated the action but couldn't find a breakthrough goal in their Concacaf Gold Cup Group A opener against Trinidad & Tobago at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Saturday evening, instead splitting the points in a frustrating 0-0 draw with the Soca Warriors.
Mexico logged a flurry of chances from the get-go, but were dealt a scary blow when winger Hirving "Chucky" Lozano was subbed out 10 minutes into the contest after a collision in the box saw him take a knee to the face from Trinidad goalkeeper Marvin Phillip. Lozano was stretchered off the field while his teammates adamantly argued that a penalty kick should have been awarded, but none was given by referee Ricardo Montero.
Lozano was replaced by LA Galaxy attacking midfielder Efrain Alvarez, who technically still had dual-national eligibility to represent the United States, but is now officially cap-tied to Mexico with the appearance in an official FIFA senior competition.
Mexico continued to hold possession in the T&T end for the majority of the match, but never could convert a game-winning goal. El Tri thought they had their breakthrough at the start of second-half stoppage time when Jesus Gallardo sent in a cross that was redirected into the back of the net, but he was ruled offside in the build-up.
Mexico had the last good look of the game just before the final whistle, but a snap header off a corner kick was saved by Phillip and the match ended scoreless.
- THE BIG PICTURE: It's a frustrating result to start Gold Cup play for El Tri, who ended the match with a whopping 83 percent of possession and outshot the Soca Warriors by a 28-4 margin, only to see Trinidad see out the scoreless draw with a stalwart defensive effort that leaves them in a solid position to advance. Mexico will look to get their Gold Cup campaign on track in their next match against Guatemala on Wednesday, with Lozano's status the biggest storyline to monitor for Tata Martino's group in the meantime.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Mexico were inches away from finding a dramatic late winner, only to see the goal waved off by the AR for a borderline offside call. The reaction from the Mexican players upon realizing the call says it all.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: You have to give credit to the Trinidad defense for withstanding consistent pressure, and veteran backstop Marvin Phillip was in the middle of that, controlling the defensive block and coming through with several key saves.
- MEX: Wednesday, July 14 vs. Guatemala | 9:30 pm ET (FS1, UniMás, TUDN) | Concacaf Gold Cup Group Stage
- TAT: Wednesday, July 14 vs. El Salvador | 7:30 pm ET (FS1, UniMás, TUDN) | Concacaf Gold Cup Group Stage