Mexico 4-1 Ivory Coast: El Tri player ratings

Posted by Tom Marshall

El Tri was almost unrecognizable from recent games on Wednesday, as it demolished a poor Ivory Coast 4-1 in New Jersey. Gone were the inhibitions, the negative tactics and the inability to put the ball in the back of the net. Instead, Mexico looked like a team that had played together before and worked to a plan.

A lot of the credit has to go to Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre's change of formation to a loose 4-3-3. In central midfield, Gerardo Torrado protected the back four, Fernando Arce got up and down the field and debutant Christian Gimenez was charged with linking play and supporting striker Oribe Peralta.

The team pressed high up the pitch, was much more varied in its attacking angles and solid at the back.

The player ratings follow, but what stood out as much as the individual performances was the cohesion within the team unit as a whole.

Player ratings (Out of 10, 10 = best):

Jesus Corona, GK -- 6: Not called into action very much, but was an assured presence between the posts. Came out quickly to smother an attack in the 41st minute and made another decent save in the 80th.

Severo Meza, RB -- 7: A solid performance that might well have earned Meza the start against Honduras next month. Combined well with Giovani Dos Santos down the right and was sharp in the tackle.

Diego Reyes, CB -- 8: In the 90th minute, Reyes did a step-over and delivered the cross for Angel Reyna’s goal. It was a moment of magic in a performance of high quality from Reyes, combining an ability to step out of defense and play the ball with basic tackling and reading of the game, all essential ingredients at international level.

Hector Moreno, CM -- 7: Showed a good understanding with Reyes and made an important block in the 51st when it looked like Ivory Coast might score. The only blotch was giving away a needless free kick on the edge of the penalty area in the 59th.

Carlos Salcido, LB -- 6: There are those who doubt whether Salcido now has the speed to play left back for El Tri in a World Cup. But on Wednesday the Tigres player did his bit to prove them wrong, linking up well and pushing forward in a generally positive display.

Gerardo Torrado, DM -- 6: Much criticized, but did his job well against Ivory Coast, playing a deep covering role in central midfield. Does the unseen dirty work well, and it shouldn’t be forgotten that he was the player who wrestled possession off Ivory Coast and launched the attack that led to Mexico’s third.

Fernando Arce, CM -- 6: Brought the consistency and energy of his displays with Tijuana to the national team without any glitch. Arce gets the ball moving quickly -- a skill that has been missing for Mexico -- and when he isn’t in possession is a constant menace with his harrying of the opposition.

Christian Gimenez, AM -- 6: A positive debut from the Argentinian-born Mexican. There was no spectacular, headline-grabbing goal, but Gimenez shifted the play well, fought hard and showed he is very much in contention for a starting place for El Tri, especially with his ability to play in multiple positions.

Giovani Dos Santos, RW -- 7: The Villarreal forward caused problems down the right and is on top form heading into the start of the Spanish season. Dos Santos set up Mexico’s third with a fine run and cross.

Angel Reyna, LW -- 8: The spark of a lot of Mexico’s newfound fire in the attacking third. Reyna got a well-deserved goal in the last minute of the game and had a hand in both Mexico’s first and third goals. It made you wonder why he hadn’t played a single minute for El Tri all summer.

Oribe Peralta, FW -- 8: It shouldn’t be in any doubt, but if it was, Peralta once again proved he is a top-class striker who is legitimately pushing Javier Hernandez for the center forward position with El Tri. For the first goal, he pounced on a loose pass in a similar play as that opener in the Olympic final and nodded in his second at the near post. Aside from the goals, Peralta’s work rate was top-notch.

Substitutes:

Damian Alvarez (for Dos Santos, 56) -- 5: Didn’t provide the same threat as the other wingers on display.

Jesus Zavala (Torrado, 63) -- 5: The Monterrey man was steady in the center of midfield.

Torres Nilo (for Salcido, 63) -- 6: Coped well with the threat Ivory Coast provided.

Raul Jimenez (for Peralta, 67) –- 5: Didn’t look as sharp as Peralta and wasted a couple of decent opportunities.

Marco Fabian (for Gimenez, 77) – N/A: Not on the pitch long enough to warrant a grade.

Miguel Layun (for Meza, 78) – N/A: Not on the pitch long enough to get a grade.

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