Diego Lainez dazzled as Mexico returned to winning ways ahead of the CONCACAF Gold Cup with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Panama in an international friendly in Nashville on Wednesday.
The Real Betis midfielder opened the scoring in the 21st minute for El Tri, before defender Cesar Montes’ 57th-minute header made it 2-0.
Henry Martin worked a sublime one-two before a cool finish in second-half stoppage time to round out a strong win.
Mexico had lost last month’s CONCACAF Nations League final on penalties to the United States, before a goalless friendly draw with Honduras.
Gerardo Martino’s side made light work on Panama, who are currently ranked 78th in the world, ahead of the Gold Cup to be played in the US this month.
Montes hit the crossbar with an 18th minute header from a corner, but Lainez put them ahead three minutes.
Lainez raced onto a lofted diagonal ball from Luis Romo in acres of space, taking his time to slot on his left past Panama goalkeeper Jose Calderon.
Panama’s Eric Davis fired a free-kick off target before Montes won another header from a corner which Calderon comfortably saved.
Montes made his next chance count, heading in from Alexis Vega’s 57th-minute corner.
Mexico had a goal disallowed for offside when Jesus Ricardo Angulo squared for Uriel Antuna before Martin put the icing on the cake.
#MEXPAN | 1-0
— Mexican National Team (@miseleccionmxEN) July 1, 2021
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