International Friendlies

Mexico 1-0 Scotland: Giovani dos Santos' early goal wins it for El Tricolor

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland in Mexico City

Giovani dos Santos' early goal was enough to ensure a victory for World Cup-bound Mexico as Scotland ended their Americas tour with two defeats.

Dos Santos' side-footed finish off the inside of a post came after only 13 minutes in the Estadio Azteca.

Miguel Layun and Hirving Lozano both hit the woodwork for Mexico.

Scotland's Oli McBurnie did the same, but it was the hosts who dominated and Oribe Peralta also had the ball in the net but was flagged offside.

Mexico improved on their midweek 0-0 draw with Wales to complete back-to-back games without conceding a goal for the first time under coach Juan Carlos Osorio.

Mexico's Giovani dos Santos celebrates his goal against Scotland
Giovani dos Santos scored his 19th goal for Mexico

But they will wonder how they failed to secure a more convincing win over visitors who rode their luck at times but showed more adventure than in their 2-0 defeat by Peru.

This was another tough evening for the inexperienced Scots, who made seven changes from Lima, but their spirit and commitment never dwindled.

Throughout this tour, they have spoken of a belief they could shock either Peru or Mexico, but in practice they fell some way short.

It was always asking a lot of this young squad to match their far more experienced hosts and falling behind to such an early goal unsettled them after a decent start.

Cheap goals did the damage against Peru and so it was again here, with Carlos Vela and Dos Santos given far too much time and space to combine, allowing the latter to pick his spot low down to debutant goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin's left.

If the heat and the altitude had not done it already, that took the wind out of Scotland's sails.

Scotland goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin is beaten but the ball strikes the post
Miguel Layun's shot beat debutant Jon McLaughlin but struck the post

They struggled to put meaningful passes together and all too often possession was given up to a grateful home team who needed little encouragement.

When Dylan McGeouch lost the ball on the edge of his own box, Layun fired a terrific effort goalwards, only to see it ricochet off the post to safety.

If McLaughlin was relieved by that, he did well to keep the deficit down by pushing another long-range shot, this time from Lozano, round the post.

McLaughlin was replaced by another debutant at half-time and Scott Bain was quickly into the action to repel the Mexicans again.

Lozano and Hector Herrera both found the Celtic goalkeeper in the way with good saves within a couple of minutes of the restart.

Despite the conditions, the match became very open, with play racing from one end to the other and Scotland came agonisingly close to an equaliser.

Johnny Russell's inviting curled ball from the right was met superbly by McBurnie, but the same post that denied Layun also frustrated the Scotland striker.

Mexico's Hirving Lozano fires against the bar
Mexico's Hirving Lozano fired against the bar in the second half

The Mexicans continued to look dangerous on the break and Layun should have scored as Mexico powered forward, but Stephen O'Donnell was well placed to keep out his goalbound shot.

Further carelessness by McGeouch provided the next scare for the Scots. Lozano fashioned the shooting opportunity but watched disbelievingly as the ball crashed off the bar.

When a Lozano header was parried by Bain, Peralta's celebration after pouncing on the rebound was cut short by an offside flag, while Jesus Manuel Corona's chip over the goalkeeper was cleared on the line by Charlie Mulgrew.

Although the scoreline could have been more emphatic, Scotland emerge from the game and the tour far from embarrassed.

Manager Alex McLeish can now ponder what he and his staff have learned from the tour before their final pre-Nations League friendly against Belgium at Hampden on 7 September.

For Mexico, who had made eight changes of their own from their draw with Wales, they head to their final World Cup warm-up away to Denmark on the back of a winning send-off from 71,000 fans in the Azteca.



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Ochoa
  • 24Álvarez
  • 27Ayala
  • 3SalcedoSubstituted forMárquezat 45'minutes
  • 23Gallardo
  • 7Layún
  • 16HerreraSubstituted forFabiánat 58'minutes
  • 11VelaSubstituted forAquinoat 63'minutes
  • 10G dos SantosSubstituted forJ dos Santosat 57'minutes
  • 22LozanoSubstituted forJM Coronaat 73'minutes
  • 9JiménezSubstituted forPeraltaat 57'minutes


  • 1J Corona
  • 4Márquez
  • 6J dos Santos
  • 8Fabián
  • 12Talavera
  • 14Hernández
  • 17JM Corona
  • 19Peralta
  • 20Aquino
  • 25Gutiérrez


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1McLaughlinSubstituted forBainat 45'minutes
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 5Hendry
  • 4McKenna
  • 3Shinnie
  • 6McGeouch
  • 8McLeanSubstituted forCaddenat 55'minutes
  • 7Russell
  • 10PatersonSubstituted forMulgrewat 55'minutes
  • 11ChristieSubstituted forMcGinnat 55'minutes
  • 9McBurnieSubstituted forMorganat 80'minutes


  • 12Bain
  • 15Mulgrew
  • 16Morgan
  • 17Cadden
  • 18McGinn
  • 19Murphy
  • 21Archer
Henry Bejarano

Match Stats

Home TeamMexicoAway TeamScotland
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Mexico 1, Scotland 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Mexico 1, Scotland 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Jonathan dos Santos (Mexico).

  4. Post update

    Lewis Morgan (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jonathan dos Santos (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jesús Manuel Corona (Mexico) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jesús Manuel Corona (Mexico) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jonathan dos Santos.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Marco Fabián (Mexico) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Jesús Gallardo.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jesús Gallardo (Mexico) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Jesús Manuel Corona with a cross.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jesús Manuel Corona (Mexico) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jonathan dos Santos.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Chris Cadden (Scotland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Miguel Layún (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Oribe Peralta.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Scotland. Lewis Morgan replaces Oliver McBurnie.

  14. Post update

    Jonathan dos Santos (Mexico) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Scott McKenna (Scotland).

  16. Post update

    Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Hugo Ayala.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Marco Fabián (Mexico) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jonathan dos Santos.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Marco Fabián (Mexico).

  19. Post update

    Jack Hendry (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Mexico. Jesús Manuel Corona replaces Hirving Lozano.


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