Jose Juan Macias scored twice as Mexico commenced their CONCACAF Nations League campaign with a 5-1 thrashing of Bermuda on Friday.
Uriel Antuna guided Gerardo Martino’s men ahead in Hamilton before young forward Macias added a brace to the goal he scored on international debut against Trinidad and Tobago earlier this month.
Hirving Lozano restored El Tri’s three-goal buffer on the hour after Nahki Wells briefly gave Bermuda hope of a fightback and the Napoli star should have had a second when sent to the spot six minutes after his first.
His failure to convert mattered little as Hector Herrera fired in a fifth 19 minutes from the end to give the Gold Cup winners a commanding goal difference atop Group B in League A.
Antuna forced Dale Eve into a sharp save in the opening exchanges before making the breakthrough in the 25th minute.
The LA Galaxy winger darted in behind, controlled Hirving Lozano’s well-weighted pass and coolly rounded the goalkeeper.
The hosts fell further behind in first-half stoppage time, Macias rifling home on the half-volley after Cristian Calderon nodded down Hector Herrera’s lofted ball into the box.
— Concacaf Nations League (@CNationsLeague) October 12, 2019
The 20-year-old doubled his account eight minutes after the interval, converting the rebound from Antuna’s saved finish, though Bermuda quickly responded courtesy of a skilful Wells finish from a Zeiko Lewis corner.
Lozano restored Mexico’s advantage three minutes later by lashing across keeper Eve, only to then hit the upright with a penalty following Jaylon Bather’s handball in the box.
But there was plenty of time left for a fifth and Atletico Madrid midfielder Herrera delivered it in spectacular fashion, bending a brilliant effort into the top-right corner from a difficult angle.
What does it mean? Mexico on top in Group B
One win apiece in two meetings between Bermuda and Panama last month left Group B in the balance and Mexico seized the opportunity on their entrance to the competition.
Though all three sides are level on points, El Tri’s superior goal difference has set them up nicely.
Macias an emerging star for Mexico
Prolific in Liga MX, the talented Macias again looked a striker of international class in what was just his second appearance at this level.
Bather fortunate to avoid early bath
Culpable for failing to cut out Lozano’s pass for the first goal, Bermuda centre-back Bather did his side a further disservice when he appeared to stamp on the Napoli winger in a later touchline incident.
He was lucky to escape without even a yellow card.
Mexico have the chance to strengthen their position when they host Panama on Tuesday, the same day as Bermuda’s friendly against Guatemala.
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