Rafael Marquez (pictured) has scored 16 career goals for Mexico. (Photo: Mexsport)
GLENDALE, Arizona – Even though he scored what proved to be the winning goal in Mexico’s impressive 3-1 victory over Uruguay in the Copa America Centenario opener for each on Sunday night, Rafael Marquez was all business afterwards.
The 37-year-old thinks that the Tricolor still has plenty of work to do if it wants to compete for honors in the 100th anniversary edition of the South American championship.
Marquez broke a 1-1 tie in the 85th minute and then Hector Herrera settled matters with a header in second-half stoppage time. He voiced concerns about his team’s second-half performance, especially during a period in which Uruguay was playing a man down following Matias Vecino’s ejection just before halftime. The South Americans equalized in the 74th minute, a minute after Mexico’s Andres Guardado was sent off for a second yellow card.
“I am a little perturbed at how we started the second half, where…with a man advantage…we were not able to take advantage of it,” said Marquez. “They did, and they tied us, but after that moment we took back the reins of the match and got the victory.”
With three days before the next Group C match against Jamaica, which lost 1-0 to Venezuela, Marquez stressed the need for Mexico to work on its vulnerabilities ahead of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup final rematch.
“We faced a great opponent (in Uruguay),” Marquez remarked. “We saw that with 10 players they did a lot of damage to us. We have to try to correct that and not give away any advantages.”
Marquez believes that his goal – his 16th for Mexico and his first in 17 all-time Copa America matches – gave Mexico a boost at the right moment.
“We needed to get back in the lead to have more confidence,” he finished. “We reacted and we got back to playing our game, which gives us results, and I happened to get the goal.”
The victory was Mexico’s first in its last seven Copa America outings (1W-2D-4L).