Mexico will face Chile in a Copa America Group A match on Monday, and manager Miguel Herrera won’t understate the gravity of the upcoming bout.
The Greens drew Bolivia, 0-0, in both team’s opening game of the tournament and positioned at second place in the group, Mexico is two points behind Chile.
Herrera will watch his side play in the 2015 Gold Cup in July, as well, one of two teams–the other being Jamaica–that can take part in both international competitions.
Nonetheless, the El Tri boss dispelled the idea that he named a second-choice squad for the Copa America, one that is without Javier Hernandez, Andres Guardado, Guillermo Ochoa, Giovani dos Santos and Carlos Vela, all of these names saved for the Gold Cup roster.
In order to prove the worth of Mexico’s current team, a victory or draw against Chile is required, and Herrera, knowing that he needs to deal with misfortune properly, has admitted the odds may be against him.
Still, his ultimate goal of making a Copa America final appearance has not wavered.
“We talked about this before coming to the tournament. We’re going to have everything against us like in the World Cup,” Herrera told reporters, via Goal.com. “They have their people, their fans and they started the tournament well. We talked about how the officiating could be difficult and we could suffer again.
“We should be solid against any adversity…We continue with aspirations of reaching the semifinals and then getting to the final.”
Captain Rafa Marquez will miss the remainder of the group stage with a leg injury, and Herrera is still eyeing his replacement. Chivas center back Carlos Salcedo or Atlas defender Juan Carlos Valenzuela are the expected replacements, according Goal.com.
A semi-final place seems unlikely for Mexico because they need a favorable matchup in the quarterfinal. Advancing past that juncture with the existence of Argentina, Colombia and Brazil would entail top-notch defensive form, albeit for a short period of time.
The Gold Cup will serve as the real testing point for Herrera and Co., especially with the United States fresh off of wins over two European powers, the Netherlands and Germany.