Mexico emphasizes bigger picture at Copa

Mexico's Raul Jimenez (pictured) lines up a shot against Jamaica during a Copa America Centenario match on June 9, 2016, in Pasadena, California, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)

PASADENA, California -- Mexico reached a milestone Thursday with a 2-0 victory over Jamaica in a Group C match at the 2016 Copa America Centenario.

A Rose Bowl crowd of 83,263 saw the Tricolor extend its unbeaten run to 21 games, including 11 straight wins, which equals a record set under former coach Ricardo Lavolpe. Also, since Juan Carlos Osorio took the managerial reins in October, the team is a perfect 9-0-0.

The Mexico players, however, are not dwelling on records. They have silverware on their minds.

“We can’t get too confident just because we haven’t lost,” said defender Yasser Corona. “We are focused on working. That is what’s important. It is nice to have these milestones, but that is all.”

Corona is playing down the remarkable stretch, as is fellow defender Nestor Araujo

“We are happy about the streak,” the Santos standout commented. “We haven’t lost and that is important, but we like to think about the day-by-day work.”

Mexico can thank, in part, Osorio for the streak that started under Miguel Herrera in a 2-2 draw against Costa Rica on June 27, 2015, and continued with interim manager Ricardo Ferretti.

Against a physical Jamaica team, Javier Hernandez (18’) and Oribe Peralta (81’) netted the goals that clinched a quarterfinal place. The game was complicated at times, a fact that caught Osorio’s attention.

“We are satisfied with it,” Osorio said about the win. “But it leaves us with homework to analyze what happened in the game. We are satisfied with the team’s effort.”

The 55-year-old Colombian talked about missed scoring opportunities and how Jamaica was able to create chances of its own. He went on to mention what he thought were the game’s most important plays; a pair sequences that thwarted seemingly clear Jamaican shots on goal in the opening half.

“Yasser and (goalkeeper Guillerrmo) Ochoa’s blocks (in the 35th and 39th, respectively) were just as important as Oribe and Javier’s goals,” Osorio said. “We had the best 11 we could have in the game based on our analysis. Ochoa had a good performance and Yasser contributed.”

Mexico returns to action on Monday in Houston, where it will face Venezuela (2-0-0, 6) for the group crown.