Italy 2, Mexico 1: El Tri player ratings

Posted by Tom Marshall

Mexico fell 2-1 to Italy in the famous Maracana Stadium on Sunday in Rio de Janiero and only the most fervent supporter of El Tri would deny the Azzurri deserved the victory.

There was more frustration as Mexico again failed to spark into life for long periods. Wwile there were bright spots in improved performances from Giovani Dos Santos and Andres Guardado, overall it was again a case of must do better.

-Marcotti: Italy's flair too much for Mexico

Coach Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre said postgame that it was a simple individual error from Francisco "Maza" Rodriguez that cost his team a good point against a strong Italy team, but the reality is that El Tri needs to improve in general, and quickly.

Mexico will need a result Wednesday against a Brazil side looking for revenge for the Olympics (3 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN3/WatchESPN). The Verde-Amarela is at home and starting to hit some form.

Reaching the semifinal of the Confederations Cup suddenly seems a long way away, especially with Mexico still playing below par.

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

Jesus Corona, GK -- 6: Criticized for seeming to pull his hands away from Andrea Pirlo's free-kick opener, but he was unlikely to get to the ball anyway. Aside from that, he produced an assured performance, looking comfortable with his hands and making some good saves. His distribution, however, must improve.

Gerardo Flores, RB -- 6: Inexperienced at this top level, Flores held his own and no one can fault his commitment. Whether he is the answer to Mexico's right back problem remains to be seen.

Francisco Rodriguez, CB -- 4: A really poor performance from Rodriguez that started in the fifth minute when he passed the ball straight to Mario Balotelli, with no one even near him. Maza was also out-muscled and thought by Balotelli for Italy’s winner. It was a night to forget for the Club America player.

Hector Moreno, CM -- 5: Was lucky to stay on the field when he appeared to drag down Balotelli in the second half and was part of a collectively shaky defensive performance. The Espanyol player will have better nights in a Mexico shirt.

Carlos Salcido, LB -- 5: Sloppy in possession and looking slow when attackers ran at him, this was a wake-up call for Salcido, who looked rusty playing at left back when confronted by quality opposition.

Gerardo Torrado, CM -- 7: Generally solid and tidy playing a deep-lying role in Mexico’s midfield. Carried out his harrying role well.

Jesus Zavala, CM -- 6: Looked at ease in his biggest test to date for El Tri. Zavala is becoming an increasingly important figure for Mexico.

Javier Aquino, RW -- 5: Too lightweight on the wing and was brushed aside by Italian defenders before being taken off in the 53rd minute. Didn’t hassle Italy or cause enough problems down the right.

Giovani Dos Santos, AM -- 8: A real bright spot for Mexico, Dos Santos won the penalty through his own endeavor, set up Guardado for Mexico’s best chance early on and was a general menace to Italy. His best display this year for Mexico.

Andres Guardado, LW -- 8: The Valencia man showed his European experience by using the ball intelligently, smashing a shot against the crossbar and even making a couple of vital tackles.

Javier Hernandez, FW -- 6: Scored from the penalty spot, but Chicharito thrives when his team is producing chances and Mexico simply didn't craft enough opportunities against Italy.

Substitutes

Hiram Mier (for Aquino, 53), RB -- 7: Usually a center back, but with the quality he possesses, Mier could be the answer to Mexico’s right back problem. In the Maracana, he was an improvement on Flores, who was moved higher up the pitch when Mier came on.

Raul Jimenez (for Zavala, 86), FW (not rated): Wasn’t on pitch long enough to make an impact, but did at least force Gianluigi Buffon into a save.

Follow Tom on Twitter @MexicoWorldCup and at about.me/tom.marshall

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