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Regardless of El Salvador claiming more points so far in the 2021 Gold Cup, Mexico will be the favorites on Sunday.
With more attacking firepower (and more to prove), Mexico will be looking to make up for lost ground after failing to clinch a victory in their first match of the group stage.
El Salvador shouldn’t be taken lightly, but against the Concacaf giants, it’s difficult to imagine they’ll be able to find a way to cement a win here.
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|Mexico vs El Salvador Information|
|Teams||Mexico vs El Salvador|
|Location||Cotton Bowl (Dallas, Texas)|
|Time||Sunday, July 18th at 10:00pm ET|
|How to Watch||Univision, FS1, TUDN|
Two games down, one left to go for both Mexico and El Salvador.
Looking at El Salvador, it’s easy to focus on the positives that have existed within the squad in the Gold Cup.
They have yet to allow a goal, they’ve found the back of the net twice in each of their matches, and no matter what happens, they have a spot booked in the knockout round.
It’s a massive step forward for the national team that have never won the competition, and yet, do they have enough to finish at the top of their group?
In spite of their victories over Trinidad & Tobago and Guatemala, taking on a regional powerhouse is an entirely different task at hand.
And with their striker beginning to gain some confidence, Mexico could be at their very best this weekend.
It was always a given that Rogelio Funes Mori would need some time.
Recently naturalized and lacking the familiarity that other Mexican players have built over the years, the Argentine-born striker has needed some weeks to adjust to his new setup.
And that adjustment time has clearly benefited Mexico.
After going scoreless in his Gold Cup opener, the striker quickly fine-tuned his approach with two goals in the following 3-0 win over Guatemala earlier this week.
The Monterrey forward was incredible to watch, and if Mexico’s wingers had better finishing, Funes Mori would have also had at least an assist or two as well.
Keep an eye on the FC Dallas product. Funes Mori is finally clicking in the frontline — which could spell some trouble for his upcoming opponents.
Let’s be real here.
No matter what the group stage or results have shown, there is a sizable difference between the teams that El Salvador have faced and their next opposition.
While Mexico have won the Gold Cup three times since 2011, El Salvador’s best performance continues to be an appearance in the finals of the 1981 edition.
There’s nothing that has indicated that El Salvador are capable of surpassing Mexico, and outside of qualifying for the Gold Cup, there are few highlights to note.
El Salvador could make this tough, but man-for-man, they may not keep up.
Worries began to emerge from Mexico fans when star striker Hirving “Chucky” Lozano suffered an injury in the start of the Gold Cup.
Without their focal point in the attack, who would take charge?
In steps Orbelin Pineda.
He might not be a like-for-like switch, but as a creative distributor and shot-taker, he was brilliant with his goal and assist in Mexico’s latest 3-0 win over Guatemala.
With a point to prove as a fringe player, expect the 25-year-old (that has European eyes keeping track of him) to shine once again in the group stage.
Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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