Lozano scores only goal as Mexico beat Costa Rica

Updated: March 31, 2021

Napoli forward Hirving Lozano proved to be the matchwinner for Mexico in a 1-0 international friendly victory over Costa Rica on Tuesday.

Mexico had to wait until the 89th minute to find the only goal of the game, being played in the Austrian town of Wiener Neustadt, just south of Vienna, as Lozano headed home from close range after a corner routine.

Lozano had to again deputise as the main forward in the absence of the injured Raul Jimenez, and performed better than in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Wales. Mexico have struggled to find any rhythm without Jimenez, especially when Tecatito Corona’s creativity had no focal point to aim for.

Costa Rica have been without a victory for more than a year and couldn’t find a way past their CONCACAF rivals. Bryan Ruiz wasted the clearest for the Central Americans on the hour.

Mexico coach Tata Martinez recognised that his team was struggling in the second half so brought on Diego Lainez and Orbelin Pineda, and that ignited Lozano.

Between Pineda and Lainez, plus Hector Herrera who also came off the bench, Mexico found much more fluidity to put pressure on Keylor Navas’ goal, resulting in the late winner.

LA Galaxy midfielder Efrain Alvarez was handed his first cap for El Tri after coming off the bench in the second half. Mexico and United States are both trying to persuade him to commit his international future to them.

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