Mexico falls 1-0 to Venezuela in front of sold-out crowd at Sofi Stadium

Credit: Mexico National Team

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Credit: Copa America

The Mexico national soccer team played their second game in the 2024 Copa America this Wednesday, June 26, against Venezuela at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, California.

Mexico began the Copa America with a 1-0 win against Jamaica but had various issues in that match and struggled heavily in preparation matches against Uruguay and Brazil.

Jaime Lozano made two substitutions to his lineup that he used against Jamaica as he started Carlos Rodriguez and Luis Romo in place of Edson Alvarez and Orbelin Pineda. On Tuesday, June 25, it was confirmed that Edson Alvarez will miss the rest of the Copa America 2024 due to a hamstring injury.

Venezuela had defeated Ecuador 2-1 in their opening match, as this was set to be a hard-fought match for first place in Group B of the competition.

The atmosphere at Sofi Stadium was electric with a sold-out crowd of 72,773 spectators for this match. Mexico looked like the better team in the first half of the encounter, with a  few key goalscoring opportunities. The clearest opportunity for El Tri in the first half came when Venezuela goalkeeper Rafael Romo stopped a shot by Santi Gimenez in a one-on-one situation.

Venezuela also had some key opportunities, with the best chance coming in the 33rd minute when a shot by Salomon Rondon hit the post. At the start of the second half, Mexico suffered a huge loss when team captain Cesar Montes had to be subbed out due to an injury. Montes was replaced by Israel Reyes with Luis Chavez taking over as the new team captain.

Venezuela started off playing the second half better than Mexico, and that translated into a goal in the 57th minute via a penalty by Salomon Rondon. The penalty was given after Mexico forward Julian Quinones took out Venezuela fullback Jon Aramburu inside of the box.

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Jaime Lozano tried to shake up the offense after the goal by bringing on Guillermo Martinez, Cesar Huerta, Alexis Vega, and Orbelin Pineda. If anything these substitutions ended up making a negative impact on the game for Mexico with Orbelin Pineda missing a penalty in the 87th minute of the game.

Sofi Stadium burst in cheers after a penalty kick was given to Mexico due to a handball by defender Miguel Navarro inside of the box.

Pineda shot left on the penalty and veteran goalkeeper Rafael Romo was able to dive to the correct side, albeit, the shot by Pineda was not struck with much force.

The game ended with a frustrated Mexico team that had a great first half but then lost control of the game in the second half. With the injury to Edson Alvarez and now the injury concerns for Cesar Montes there are many things to worry about for El Tri headed into its last game of the Copa America group stage.

Mexico will play Ecuador in Phoenix on June 30 in a match where both teams are obligated to get the win to advance to the Copa America quarterfinals.

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