Mexico won the battle, but lost the war in a 3-1 friendly win over Ecuador at AT&T Stadium on Saturday.
El Tri scored three times, but lost Luis Montes for the World Cup with a double leg fracture. Captain Rafa Marquez was also taken to the hospital with a toe injury, and his status in unknown. He did, however, post on his Instagram account after the game that he had not fractured his toe.
Mexico had a slight advantage over the game’s first 20 minutes, but Ecuador held firm at the back, limiting El Tri’s chances.
Ecuador got its first big chance of the match when Maza Rodriguez hauled down Jefferson Montero, earning a yellow card. Jorge Guagua couldn’t keep his free kick from 25 yards out down, however.
Mexico broke the deadlock 33 minutes into the match in some style. Oribe Peralta received the ball at the top of the box, and dropped to Luis Montes. The Leon midfielder took a touch onto his left and blasted a shot into the corner from the top of the circle.
Montes was dealt a cruel blow just minutes later. Segundo Castillo went into a challenge on Montes, which left the midfielder with a devastating leg injury. Several El Tri players were in tears as Montes was stretchered off the pitch, with his World Cup dream over.
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Castillo was also taken to the hospital with a right knee injury.
Mexico’s bad day got even worse when Rafa Marquez also went to the hospital at halftime with a right toe injury.
Fidel Martinez appeared to even the game up for Ecuador 15 minutes into the second half after a scramble in front of the net. However, the referee whistled Frickson Erazo for a hand ball in the build up.
Just a minute later, El Tri had Paul Aguilar to thank after the wingback cleared the ball off the line.
Marco Fabian doubled his team’s lead with 20 minutes to go, and it was absolute belter. The attacker collected the ball on the left flank, cut in on his right, and belted a shot into the top corner from all of 30 yards out.
El Tri got their third when a poor Ecuador clearance found Giovani Dos Santos at the penalty spot. His shot struck the post, then goalkeeper Maximo Banguera’s face and in for an own goal.
Ecuador pulled one back when Enner Valencia rifled in a free kick from just outside the arc.