A hat-trick from Lautaro Martinez and a converted penalty sent the South Americans into the half-time interval 4-0 ahead, with El Tri unable able to recover and only registering their first shot on goal in stoppage time.
Yet even with many of his best players on the field, Martino said his team’s true ranking is somewhere in between what it has showed in the past and the level of performance in the defeat to Argentina.
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“I don’t think this is our reality. I don’t think having 11 games without losing is our reality either,” he said in his news conference after the match. “Of the ‘Class A’ national teams, this is the second game we’ve played.
“The first was againstChile, and the substantial difference between tonight’s game and the one against Chile is that we made errors in areas where we thought Argentina could hurt us. There were 15 minutes of the game in which we played well, but the game starts to get out of whack from an error.”
While the Albiceleste were superior to Mexico, Martino’s confident his side can fix their issues and bounce back after the first defeat since he took over in January.
“I didn’t end up seeing a lot of disorder, what I kept seeing was a lot of errors,” he said. “We started having doubts and slowness with our ball circulation, we didn’t find passes between the lines, there weren’t deep movements to understand a bit what happened in the middle of the field and in Argentina’s defence to find spaces in these areas.”
His players largely agreed, saying they can clean up the mistakes and also play with a stronger mentality – like the one Argentina displayed in San Antonio.
“The errors were on us, in getting the ball out of the back,” midfielder Jonathan dos Santos said. “The whole game they were in our half, and they took advantage of any mistake to go on the counter-attack. They had attitude until the end of the 90 minutes.”
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Guillermo Ochoa couldn’t do much to keep Argentina out, but the goalkeeper, wearing the captain’s armband in the absence of Andres Guardado, says the squad will move forward despite the frustrating defeat.
“It’s a friendly. You have to keep going and lift your head. The work we’ve been doing has been good, but we have to correct a lot of things, stay together as a team,” Ochoa said. “In moments like this, we have to move forward and stay united.”
Mexico has a non-FIFA friendly date against Trinidad and Tobago on October 3 before traveling to take on Bermuda on October 11 in their first ever Nations League game.