Mexico ‘not ready’ for 2022 World Cup, Tata Martino says after 3-0 loss to Uruguay
Mexico manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino was critical of his side after a 3-0 loss to Uruguay in a friendly on Thursday, suggesting they still have some way to go to be ready for the World Cup in Qatar that kicks off in just over five months.
“The reality is, we’re not ready,” said Martino in the post-game news conference when discussing how far his team is from the level that he wants them to be at for the 2022 World Cup.
“If we focus on just today’s game, we are very far. I don’t lose sight of the fact that it’s a friendly, I don’t lose sight of the fact that there is a goal achieved, very deservingly, and that Mexico gets to play in another World Cup.
“This is part of the preparation and in the preparation, as has happened in the last four years, there are good and difficult moments. Obviously, if I were convinced that this can’t be corrected, we wouldn’t be talking.”
In front of 57,735 fans at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, Martino and his men struggled against an Uruguay side that were carried by a standout performance from Edinson Cavani.
With two goals in the second half, the 35-year-old striker silenced the Arizona crowd that was heavily in support of Mexico. Martino, who caught El Tri fans and media off-guard with his utilization of a five-man backline, later attempted to highlight silver-linings from the performance.
“In the first half, the team played well. Later, Uruguay played very well. We had two scoring opportunities [in the first 45 minutes]. The first half was even,” said Mexico’s coach, despite the 3-0 defeat.
Looking ahead, they’ll have opportunities to fine-tune their tactics and approach. Mexico will play an additional U.S.-based friendly this month against Ecuador on Sunday in Chicago.
El Tri will then kick off their 2022-23 CONCACAF Nations League campaign at home against Suriname on June 11 and away against Jamaica on June 14. Later this summer, Mexico will go up against Paraguay in a friendly on Aug. 31 in Atlanta.
Recently, the president of the Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) confirmed that the national team will face El Tri in a friendly this September, with a specific date and U.S. venue to be determined.
At the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, Martino’s team will take part in Group C with Argentina, Poland and Saudi Arabia.