Mexico head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino played down his side's 2-0 defeat to the United States on Friday night, adding the focus is now recovering their lead at the top of the Concacaf World Cup qualifying table.
El Tri’s loss enabled the United States to climb atop the standings with 14 points in seven games and a record of 4-2-1. While the two nations are tied on points, the American side narrowly edged out their North American rival with a goal difference of seven.
The USMNT’s victory also marked their third consecutive win over Mexico in 2021, following the Nations League and Gold Cup triumphs in the summer. The last time the American side managed this record was in the mid-2000s.
Despite the stats, Martino claimed the team’s third loss is not a matter of importance at the moment.
"It is not a question of losing three games against the United States, the situation is to continue recovering in the Qualifiers, it is not a personal confrontation against the United States," said Martino after the game.
"I understand the importance of being a Clásico, having three defeats against a rival that all Mexicans want to beat, but what we have to worry about the most is redirecting the Eliminatory.”
The head coach also went on to clarify that he does not believe the team is suffering from defensive issues.
“The game had changing moments, we were the first we had to hit in the first half with clear opportunities, the holding was shared and what I feel is that in the second half we lowered the intensity a bit," he said.
"The reality is that we had played six games and we had three goals against, I do not think we had defensive problems, it is true that the United States scored two goals. But it is also true that in the first season we did not suffer scoring options and we were playing with a central defender who had not played together, I don't think it was our Achilles heel throughout the Playoff."
Mexico managed eight overall shots and four on goal throughout the match, and recorded 49 percent possession.
El Tri travels to Canada on Tuesday as the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers continue.