The biennial CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off later Friday in the United States and features North America, Central America and Caribbean nations.
Manager, Juan Carlos Osorio will not be on the sidelines due to a suspension in the Confederations Cup and it is unclear if his controversial tactics will still be in effect for this tournament, specifically squad rotations. Prior to the match, the entire squad was only responsible for eight worldwide goals, and with the added setback of the injury to Chivas striker Alan Pulido during El Tri's friendly with Paraguay, many wondered where the offensive threat would come from. Osorio also was fined 5,000 Swiss francs ($5,185) and issued a warning. If it is knocked out earlier, the balance of the suspension would be served during World Cup qualifying when it resumes in September.
In last Sunday's game between Mexico and Portugal, the latter won 2-1 thanks to an extra-time penalty, having earlier trailed going into the final minute of normal time. Referee Fahad Al Mirdasi declined to use the VAR (video assistant referee) system to review the play, as he had for a Portugal PK in the first half that gave it a 1-0 lead.
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Against better sides, the steel of Molina will surely be used, while Pineda showed with his goal and all-round game that he can be one of the stars of this Gold Cup if Osorio gives him more minutes.
El Salvador pulled one back through Nelson Bonilla to briefly level the match at 1-1 in the 10th minute, but Mexico were deserved winners with a controlled display of mesmerizing passing.
In the Osorio era, there's nearly always head-scratching in the press box when Mexico's team sheet is handed out, and it was no different inside Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday.
A total of 12 teams are competing in this year's Gold Cup. CONCACAF has launched a campaign during the Gold Cup aimed at educating fans and eradicating the p-word chant.