SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Three first-half goals fired Mexico to a 4-2 win over 10-man Paraguay on Tuesday, as El Tri completed back-to-back victories in Gerardo “Tata” Martino’s first two games in charge.
Mexico flew out the blocks in front of 50,317 fans in Levi’s Stadium with Jonathan dos Santos opening the scoring in the sixth minute. A Gustavo Gomez own goal made it 2-0 three minutes later and Javier Hernandez wrapped up the scoring in the 24th.
The second half was more even in terms of possession and Paraguay pulled a goal back through Hernan Perez on the hour mark, with Derlis Gonzalez netting in the 85th to make for an intense finish, before Luis Montes sealed the victory for Mexico in second-half injury time.
Paraguay had gone down to 10 players when Newcastle United’s Miguel Almiron lunged in from behind on Jose Juan “Gallito” Vazquez in the 63rd minute and received a red card.
Almiron had only come on in the 56th and was playing against his former Atlanta United coach Martino.
El Tri dominated the game for the first hour and was clinical in capitalizing on Paraguay’s defensive errors.
Man of the match Dos Santos found himself free to finish from inside the box in Mexico’s first attack of any danger, with the midfielder pouncing on to a misguided defensive header from Bruno Valdez to score his first goal for the national team.
The second came when a Hernandez through ball found Erick Gutierrez on the left side of the penalty area. Gutierrez crossed low, with Gomez stretching and unwittingly steering the ball into his own goal.
Hernandez beat the offside trap and latched onto a pass from Dos Santos to make it 3-0.
Paraguay showed spirit to come back after the break and seemed inspired when Almiron entered the field, but six substitutions slowed Mexico’s rhythm and El Tri’s goalkeeper Raul Gudino could perhaps have done better on both goals.