ATLANTA ( Associated Press) – Argentina coach Gerardo Martino turned to the stands of Mercedes-Benz Stadium at the end of a friendly against Paraguay. With an incredulous gesture, he heard the boo of a field of fans, who in chorus asked for his departure from the bench of the Mexican team.
Mexico played their best match so far this year on Wednesday, but eventually lost 1-0 to Paraguay.
And the result did little to ease the discontent of Mexican supporters north and south of the border with the “Tata” management.
“Public Enemy Number One… Yes, I’ve felt it as a person, but people who voice their opinions don’t know what I am like as a person if they knew nothing like this would happen.” , a resigning Martino said in a press conference after the setback
“There is nothing that can be modified now, my big concern is how it affects the group of players. Today, although the team maintained a good level, the liquidity was not the same after Paraguay’s goal and that has something to do with it.
Midfielder Darlis González scored in the second half, goalkeeper Anthony Silva made a significant save and Paraguay defeated an alternative Mexican team, beginning the final stages of their preparations for this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
González, who played for Olympia in his home country, took advantage of a rebound inside the field to score the only goal of the match in the 50th minute.
Paraguay was ruled out of the next World Cup, led by Argentine Guillermo Barros Scheloto, but used the match to test players for the 2026 World Cup process, which would take place in Mexico, the United States and Canada.
Mexico added another bad result, although Martino seems to be comforted by the fact that a team composed exclusively of Liga MX players left a good feeling, especially in the first half.
But the strategist knows that critical voices will rise again.
In recent weeks, some television analysts, including former players such as Hugo Sánchez, perhaps the best Mexican football player in history, have criticized Martino’s consistency on the bench.
Martino has not turned his back on questions. He encountered those voices for the first time since coming on the bench.
“I see people happy that a colleague loses his job, honestly it is a very unusual situation. I have had bad and good times but listening to so many football people talk like this.. . There are always codes in football and things are said in other words”, said Martino.
Hired in early 2019, Martino arrived in Mexico with the mission of qualifying for the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time away from home. His start was encouraging and he was crowned in the Gold Cup before the pandemic.
Last year he had suffered three defeats against arch-rivals United States. Many fans and the press were disillusioned with his management.
“There’s a line of respect, especially among soccer people that obviously doesn’t happen to me. I even got to watch Cruz Azul’s games from the outside and I felt like there were people who were happy that Diego Aguirre was fourth or fifth.” Went to the game,” Martino said angrily.
He said, “Coming from the outside, I can’t change anything, we are where we are and what needs to be done is that the team, apart from not being able to convert, is recognized for playing well. ,” They said.
The Mexicans had suffered in their previous games in the arrival generation, something that had not happened to them against the Paraguayans, who won, thanks to the great performance of Silva, who scored at least four clear goal plays. removed.
This was the final rehearsal for El Tri with Liga MX players, with preparatory matches against Colombia and Peru in September using players from the European leagues.
This will be the final venue before traveling to Europe for the pre-World Cup camp where they will also hold two preparatory matches.
Mexico will start the World Cup against Poland on 22 November. He also militarizes Argentina and Saudi Arabia in his group.
Martino expressed confidence that the players understand the environment so that it does not affect them in the World Cup.
“Today we play in Atlanta and in 20 days we go to Los Angeles, where it will be the same and in the World Cup, Mexico has 40,000 people and Poland can score a goal in 20 minutes, that part worries me because it It’s like going to an unequal fight,” he said.
Mexico was better in the first half, but made a mistake in the definition and could not reflect it on the scoreboard due to Silva’s good defence.
First it was Cesar Montes on 10, then Jesus Gallardo on 27, and then Roberto Alvarado on 35, who scored on goal that was killed by Silva, a player from Puebla, Mexico.
Paraguay, who had just arrived, took the lead when another Liga MX player, Carlos González, tried his luck with a mid-range shot that hit a post. The rebound fell to Gonzalez, who converted with a soft shot through the center of the goal.
Mexico were again in danger in the 55th minute when Gallardo fired a shot from outside the box that hit the crossbar.
The Mexican knocked on the door in the 86th minute with a shot from Carlos Rodriguez which was dismissed by Silva with a corner kick.
Although Mexico’s match was not bad, a sector of 51,387 spectators who attended the Mercedes-Benz Stadium began chanting “Tata out” at the end of the match.