Mexico and Hirving Lozano (red jersey) train in Columbus, Ohio, USA, on November 8. (Photo: John Bacon/Straffon Images)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Mexico will be aiming to change history Friday, when it takes on the host United States at MAPFRE Stadium to kick off the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The Tricolor wants to break a string of four straight losses to the Americans – each by the same 2-0 score -- in Hexagonal games played in Columbus, Ohio, every four years starting in 2001.
Forward Hirving Lozano – only 20-years-old – didn’t played in any of those games and he’s is only looking ahead.
“We will try to be better than them, try to give the best of ourselves, always being ahead and looking to score goals,” said the Pachuca star, who is the joint-top scorer in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League with five goals. “We are in the present. We have to live it and give our best.”
The task to do so, though, will be a challenging one. Mexico has beaten the U.S. only once in their last seven meetings, a 3-2 win in last year’s CONCACAF Cup. That’s all the more reason why winger Jurgen Damm wants to deliver three points to the fans.
“We all want to change history, get a good result first for us, for the national team, for the coaching staff and for all the Mexicans that are supporting us,” the 24-year-old remarked. “It’s going to be important to turn this around, go out to play with heart and get a positive result.”
After Mexico fought to a fourth-place finish in the Hexagonal for Brazil 2014, a placement that led to a successful intercontinental playoff against New Zealand, it’s taking the new campaign one game at a time.
“We are working to try to be the best version of this national team,” finished veteran defender Rafael Marquez. “We have all the power and only have to keep it afloat. We are focused on having a good game on Friday and getting three points. The most important match is Friday’s.”
Mexico has posted a 10W-2D-1L record through 13 games in 2016.