Ochoa, Guardado add to Mexico legacies at World Cup

(EDITORS NOTE: In this photo taken from a remote camera from behind the goal) Robert Lewandowski of Poland shoots a penalty which is saved by Guillermo Ochoa of Mexico during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Mexico and Poland at Stadium 974 on November 22, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
DOHA, QATAR – NOVEMBER 22: (EDITORS NOTE: In this photo taken from a remote camera from behind the goal) Robert Lewandowski of Poland shoots a penalty which is saved by Guillermo Ochoa of Mexico during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Mexico and Poland at Stadium 974 on Nov. 22, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
Photo by Maja Hitij – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

While Mexico’s time at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 ended at the group stage, CONCACAF said there were many positive moments to take from El Tricolor’s performance, especially by two of their most experienced players, GK Guillermo Ochoa and MF Andres Guardado.

In the opening match of Group C against Poland, Mexico battled to a 0-0 draw, thanks in large part to the heroics of Ochoa, noted CONCACAF on Monday.

It said the veteran shot-stopper made a second half penalty save from star Polish FW Robert Lewandowski, becoming the first Mexico GK to make a save a penalty kick (excluding shootouts) since the inaugural World Cup at Uruguay 1930, when Oscar Bonfiglio saved from Fernando Paternoster of Argentina.

CONCACAF said the result extended Mexico’s unbeaten run in World Cup opening matches to seven, with five wins and two draws.

It said the last time Mexico suffered defeat in their World Cup opener was a 1-0 final to Norway at USA 1994.

There were many positive moments to take from El Tricolor’s performance, especially by two of their most experienced players, GK Guillermo Ochoa, left, and MF Andres Guardado.
There were many positive moments to take from El Tricolor’s performance, especially by two of their most experienced players, GK Guillermo Ochoa, left, and MF Andres Guardado.CONCACAF

El Tricolor also improved their World Cup group stage record to 10W-8D-3L in the last 21 matches and five clean sheets in their last nine group stage encounters, CONCACAF said.

“Mexico’s second match at Qatar 2022 saw them fall 2-0 to Argentina, but a milestone was reached when veteran MF Andres Guardado appeared in his 13rd Senior Men’s World Cup match,” it said.

CONCACAF said Guardado now ranks second on the all-time list of most World Cup games played by a Mexico player, with one game at Germany 2006, three at South Africa 2010, four at Brazil 2014, four at Russia 2018 and one at Qatar 2022.

It said former DF Rafael Marquez remains the leader with 19 games.

CONCACAF said the 88,966 spectators for the Mexico-Argentina match at Lusail Stadium became the most-attended FIFA Men’s World Cup match since the Brazil-Italy Final at USA 1994 in which there were 94,194 spectators.

Mexico’s time at Qatar 2022 ended on a winning note with a “thrilling 2-1 triumph over Saudi Arabia,” CONCACAF said.

“The victory extended Mexico’s dominance over opposition from the Asian Football Confederation with five wins in five all-time World Cup matches,” it said.

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