Mexico booked their spot in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying thanks to a routine 2-0 win at home to Canada.
Five days on from their 3-0 victory in the reverse fixture in Canada, Mexico were largely untroubled at Estadio Azteca as they preserved their 100 per cent in Group A thanks to goals from captain Andres Guardado and Jesus Corona on Tuesday.
Guardado broke the deadlock with an 18th-minute spot-kick before Corona doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time to inspire Mexico to four wins from four games, a perfect run of results which has seen the Gold Cup champions score 10 goals without conceding.
With two fixtures remaining before the ‘Hexagonal’ round, Mexico – in the midst of a 17-match unbeaten streak – top the group with 12 points, eight more than Canada and El Salvador.
Veteran defender Rafael Marquez missed the match due to a right abductor injury suffered in last week’s triumph, replaced by Nestor Araujo.
Juan Carlos Osorio made four other changes to the starting XI, with Jose Corona, Jesus Molina, Marco Fabian and Raul Jimenez coming in for Alfredo Talavera, Diego Reyes, Hirving Lozano and Javier Hernandez.
The Canadians also introduced fresh faces in the form of Nikolas Ledgerwood and Manjrekar James at the expense of Adam Straith and Tosaint Ricketts.
Mexico controlled proceedings but struggled to create any real clear-cut chances until Guardado stepped up and converted an 18th-minute penalty.
Fabian was clattered into by Doneil Henry inside the box and Guardado made no mistake against Milan Borjan.
Borjan was in the thick of the action approaching half-time, somehow managing to keep Fabian’s low shot out of the net after the ball rolled underneath him in the 38th minute.
And that proved to be his final contribution, after immediately signalling to the bench, having suffered an apparent finger injury.
His replacement, Kyriakos Stamatopoulos, was then forced to pick the ball out of the net on the stroke of half-time following a tremendous bit of skill from Jesus Corona, who turned his two opponents inside out before firing the ball into the bottom corner in one motion.
It was Corona’s second goal in two games, having netted in Vancouver.
Mexico continued where they left off in the second half and almost made it 3-0 but a diving Fabian was unable to latch on to Guardado’s delivery cross the six-yard box.
Canada held firm without really threatening in the remaining minutes as they avoided any further damage heading into decisive September fixtures against Honduras and El Salvador.