Xolos’ Efrain Alvarez scores winner for Mexico in 1-0 win vs. Bolivia

Credit: Mexico national team

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Credit: Mexico national team

This Friday, May 31, the Mexico national team played Bolivia in an international friendly match at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Although the game was advertised as the senior national team playing, it was more of a U-23 squad for Mexico. Bolivia had a whole team with veterans and usual callups.

Among the young players in the starting lineup for Mexico were a pair of Club Tijuana players in, Jesus Gomez and Efrain Alvarez. The players from the official senior team roster that had minutes on the day included Julio Gonzalez, Alexis Pena, Andres Montano and Jordan Carrillo. The attack was a very intriguing component for Mexico in this match with the trident of Efrain Alvarez, Ricardo Monreal, and Ettson Ayon.

The first half of the match ended scoreless in a game where Bolivia controlled possession but failed to do much with the ball offensively. Both teams combined for one shot on target in the first half in what was a very disappointing opening half of play.

The second half was really not much better but it did have a bit more action from both sides. The opening and lone goal of the game came via Efrain Alvarez in the 47th minute when he scored off a shot inside of the penalty area. Ricardo Monreal did phenomenal work on the wing to produce the goal and provide the assist on the scoring play.

The lone scoring chance by Bolivia in the match was stopped by goalkeeper Julio Gonzalez, who was not worked much in this match. This game was more for the U-23 squad to prepare for the Toulon Tournament rather than for the senior team to prepare for Copa America.

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The game also served to see if any of the players caught Jaime Lozano’s eye, but it may not have been the case in such a dull encounter. The game is a positive one for the Club Tijuana players, as Efrain Alvarez scored and came away as the hero for Mexico in Chicago. At the same time, Jesus Gomez was arguably Mexico’s best defender in 85 minutes of play, with seven clearances and four tackles.

Mexico will now face Uruguay with the senior team on June 5, then play Brazil on June 8 to finalize preparations for the Copa America.

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