| Brazil’s Ewerthon (right) vies for the ball with Mexico’s Octavio Valdez at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City on Sunday. (Reuters)
Mexico City: An 80th-minute glancing header by striker Jared Borgetti handed Mexico a 1-0 win over Brazil in the Concacaf Gold Cup on Sunday, saving the home side from an embarrassing result against Brazil’s under-23 side.
After rounding Brazilian defender Maicon on the left flank, substitute midfielder Daniel Osorno sent over an inch perfect cross from the byline for Borgetti to rise above two defenders and head home from six metres.
Against a Brazil team without the likes of Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho and looking towards next year’s Olympic Games, Borgetti’s goal spared Mexico’s blushes, and possibly the job of coach Ricardo Lavolpe.
The youthful Brazil team outplayed Mexico for much of the game, creating the better chances as Lavolpe’s players lacked creativity and were booed off at the end of the first period by a half-full Azteca stadium.
Robinho produced two jinking runs that ended in shots in the first half, one forcing a fine save from Mexico goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez, the home side’s busiest player while at the other end Gomes hardly got his hands dirty.
Brazil’s Kaka also had two clear chances in the second half. First he was denied by a lunging challenge outside the area by Sanchez who was lucky not be shown a red card and later he latched on to a long ball and flicked the ball over the stranded Sanchez, only to see his shot rebound off the post.
After a poor first half, Mexico found more rhythm at the start of the second with substitute Luis Perez injecting more pace and authority in midfield.
Mexican captain Pavel Pardo hit a right foot shot over the bar from the edge of the box after a neat move and Borgetti headed wide from another cross from the left flank.
But it was Borgetti’s goal 10 minutes from time that had Argentine-born coach Lavolpe celebrating on the touchline. The victory was only his second since he took the job late last year.
In the later game, Colombia squeezed past Jamaica with a 41st minute goal by Jairo Patino in their group B match as both teams sweltered in Miami.
“It was tough,” said Colombia’s midfielder Giovanni Hernandez after a game played in temperatures of more than 32 degrees Celsius.
“There’s no weak side in this group and with that temperature it was very difficult.”
While Colombia showed their superiority they were unable to convert several chances in the first half.
First, Colombian striker Mauricio “Mao” Molina hit the crossbar before Jamaica’s Andrew Williams just failed to get a touch on a Ricardo Gardner cross.
Patino put Colombia ahead just before half-time after he worked a delicate one-two with Jairo Castillo.
The heat continued to take its toll in the second half and Colombia again failed to capitalize.
The next group B match is on Tuesday night between Guatemala and Jamaica.