Mexico national team head coach Jaime ‘Jimmy’ Lozano has accepted responsibility for his side’s poor defensive showing in their 3-3 draw with Uzbekistan.
The White Wolves opened the scoring in the 18th minute at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but three minutes later Mexico’s Raul Jimenez found the equalizer to bring the game to level terms.
Uzbekistan would eventually restore their lead near the end of the first half, but Jimenez found the back of the net again at the end of normal time while Uriel Antuna came off the bench to score what looked like the winning goal for El Tri.
However, Otabek Shukurov’s free kick flew past Guillermo ‘Memo’ Ochoa to earn the White Wolves a shocking draw against the nine-time Gold Cup champions. Mexico totaled 19 shots on the night, while Uzbekistan tallied just four, proving to be clinical going forward.
“The balance has things to improve even if we had won and above all defensively, we conceded two goals in a Gold Cup and now five in two games,” Lozano said after the draw.
“They (Uzbekistan) hit us a little [going forward] but they punish us a lot, we were badly stopped like in the second goal, we don’t understand the times. The first goal is a marking error and the last goal we lacked skill in getting the ball out so as not to give away a foul there,” he added.
Despite going down twice in the first half, Lozano highlighted his team’s resilience in the game: “The certainty is that the team has a lot of willingness and will, it is not easy to stay despite going down, to come back.
“We even changed the system, we added two points, we wanted to modify, it worked and we had doubts. I see very clearly that the area of opportunity is the defense because they reach us little and they punish us. But this is the national team, here they are all good players and we have to work.”
After coming off two draws with Australia and Uzbekistan, Mexico will be back in action in mid-October for a pair of international friendlies against Ghana and Germany.