Mexico’s preparations for next month’s crunch World Cup qualifier against the United States have been dealt a blow after a 3-2 defeat to Ecuador in an international friendly in Charlotte.
Walter Chala, making his second international appearance, scored the 75th-minute winner two minutes after coming off the bench for an under-strength Ecuador.
Both sides were missing several key Europe-based players, although that did not detract from an entertaining encounter, where three goals were scored in the opening quarter of an hour.
Jhonny Quinonez opened the scoring in the second minute when his scuffed bouncing effort beat Mexico goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco.
Mexico levelled four minutes when a fallen Santiago Gimenez, who had his initial effort blocked, flicked a ball across goal for Roberto Alvarado to tap home.
Ecuador restored their advantage when Washington Corozo worked a neat one-two with Toluca forward Michael Estrada, before bundling a shot past Orozco.
Mexico equalised again on the hour when Osvaldo Rodriguez rifled in a stunning left-foot strike from outside the box after Fernando Beltran’s shot had been parried away.
Ecuador found the winner from a throw-in as debutant Djorkaeff Reasco flicked the ball back from the byline, allowing Chala to ghost in at the back post and finish with ease.
— Mexican National Team (@miseleccionmxEN) October 28, 2021
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