Márquez captains Mexico in loss to Ecuador
New York Red Bulls midfielder Rafael Márquez wore the captain's armband and played the full 90 minutes as Mexico lost to Ecuador 2-1 in an
international exhibition played in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Saturday night.
Mexico were off to a shocking start in El Tri’s first-ever
match at the newly christened Omnilife Stadium as Christian Benítez, who plays
for Mexican club Santos Laguna, put Ecuador ahead with a goal after just 29
seconds on a penetrating run. The sparse crowd on hand was stunned before it could settle into the match.
The Mexicans responded minutes later on efforts by their two
England-based forwards, Javier “Chicharito” Hernández and Carlos Vela, but both
missed the mark.
Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa kept Mexico in the match with two
critical reflex saves in a one-minute span on Benítez and Walter Ayoví
in the 33rd minute. His saves allowed his country to equalize the
match four minutes from the break. Ecuadorean defender Luis Checa deflected a
Chicharito cross into his own net to ensure the teams were square 1-1
In the 51st minute, Mexico could have gone ahead
had it not been for a decisive save from Ecuador goalkeeper Máximo Banguera. He
deflected a cross from Andrés Guardado which was destined for teammate Héctor
Moreno, who was crashing the box.
Eight minutes later, Ecuador retook the lead as Ayoví
poked a ball past Ochoa after he was served at the edge of the six-yard box by
Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia.
New Fulham signing Carlos Salcido struck the crossbar on a
long drive which was tipped by the Ecuador goalkeeper. And on his Mexican National Team debut, Cruz Azul’s Javier “El Chuletita” Orozco, who scored four
goals against Real Salt Lake in a CONCACAF Champions League match, had two golden
opportunities that went begging in the final minutes of the match.
Mexico will look to redeem themselves under interim manager
Efraín Flores, when they face Colombia in Monterrey, Mexico, on Tuesday.