Mexico coach Miguel Herrera has called for his side to be more aggressive as they bid to seal top spot in CONCACAF Gold Cup Group C by beating Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday.
Herrera’s men were held to a 0-0 draw by Guatemala on Monday but are still all-but assured of their place in the quarter-finals.
The six-time champions are second with four points, two points adrift of group leaders Trinidad. Guatemala – who face Cuba in their last group game – are three points behind Mexico and would require victory over Cuba and a nine-goal swing in their favour in order to leapfrog Mexico and progress automatically.
Mexico will be guaranteed of qualification as one of the two best third-placed teams should Canada and El Salvador – who have inferior goal differences – both fail to win in their final round of group fixtures against Costa Rica and Jamaica on Tuesday.
Herrera admitted to being “reassured but frustrated” following the stalemate with Guatemala and has called for a change of mind set as Mexico seek the victory at Bank of America Stadium that would ensure top spot.
“The intention is to win and be first in the group,” Herrera said. “But we have to be more aggressive.”
Trinidad are in command of the group follow straightforward wins over Guatemala and Cuba and need only a draw to seal first place, however, they should have plenty of motivation to play for all three points in Charlotte.
The Caribbean side reached the quarter-finals in 2013 but suffered an agonising exit at the hands of Mexico as Raul Jimenez scored the winner six minutes from time.
But Trinidad do have some absentees who will not feature in their aim to avenge that result.
Midfielder Andre Boucaud is suspended for the game due to suspension, while a hamstring injury appears to have ended goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams’ Gold Cup.
Williams was taken off on a stretcher during the 2-0 victory over Cuba and coach Stephen Hart said: “I haven’t gotten a medical report, but the initial report was a pulled hamstring.
“We have very capable goalkeeping… I am not worried. But Jan is an inspirational leader.
“He marshals the defence. He’s an inspiration in the dressing room. He will stay with us in that sense. But you lose something when you lose somebody like Jan-Michael Williams.”
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