Sebastian Cordova, Rogelio Funes Mori and Hirving “Chucky” Lozano scored to deliver a 3-0 win for Mexico over Honduras at the Estadio Azteca on Sunday, a result which coupled with the United States’ loss in Panama, put Mexico back atop CONCACAF’s World Cup qualifying after five rounds.
Cordova scored his first goal for El Tri‘s senior squad in just over a year, though the Club America attacker did play a starring role on the Mexico under-23 team that won a bronze medal in Tokyo 2020 last August.
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After a disappointing offensive display in their draw against Canada on Thursday night, which knocked them out of first place for the first time in the entirety of CONCACAF’s final qualifying round, manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino made changes to his preferred 4-3-3 system in order to boost Mexico’s attack.
Though the team still sported three midfielders and three attackers, Cordova acted as a No. 10, nestled in front of Hector Herrera and Edson Alvarez, and behind Raul Jimenez, the team’s starting striker.
In total, Martino switched out three players from the starting lineup against Canada: defenders Hector Moreno, Luis Rodriguez, and Cordova.
A combo play between Herrera and Jesus “Tecatito” Corona in the 17th minute yielded a gilt edge chance for Mexico. Honduras goalkeeper Luis Lopez parried Corona’s shot, but Lozano recovered. Lozano’s shot was also rejected, with Cordova finding the ball just outside the six-yard box, before unleashing a powerful right foot to score the game’s opening goal.
Hopes of a Honduran comeback were severely affected early in the second half, when Maynor Figueroa saw red after a strong tackle on Jimenez.
Funes Mori, who came on for Jimenez, made it 2-0 when he blasted a rebound past Lopez in the 75th minute. After Alvarez’s initial shot hit the post, Funes Mori scored the fifth goal in his still young national team career with Mexico.
In the 86th minute, Lozano capped a strong night with a goal of his own, after Orbelin Pineda set him up with a pass just inside the 18-yard box. The Napoli attacker finished his run by shooting to the left of Lopez for the game’s third goal.
The 3-0 win was the first Mexico routed an opponent by three goals or more in World Cup qualifying since they beat Honduras on June 6, 2017.
With just three points in five games, Honduras sits next-to-last in the CONCACAF final round, above Jamaica, who they’ll face next in San Pedro Sula.
Mexico’s win vaulted them to 11 points, three more than the United States and Panama, who both trail with eight. El Tri will visit El Salvador on Wednesday to wrap up the current round of qualifiers.