Socceroos play out hard-fought Mexico draw

The Subway Socceroos and Mexico played out a thrilling 2-2 draw at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, in a frustrating match for Australia.

Goals to Harry Souttar and Martin Boyle had Graham Arnold’s team 2-0 up before a couple of key defensive lapses allowed their 12th-ranked opposition back into the game.      
Mexico came flying out of the traps, eager to find space in behind the Australian backline and snatch an early goal, but the Socceroos new-look backline held firm.  

Australia started to push the ball further up the pitch around a quarter of an hour in, winning a corner on the left.      
The set piece was headed out to Connor Metcalfe, the midfielder firing a powerful effort from long range that forced Guillermo Ochoa to parry it away.      
The resulting right-sided corner from Martin Boyle found Souttar centrally, who managed to steer an accurate header low into the left side of the goal.      

Australia remained composed and diligent in defence despite El Tri controlling most of the ball in the first half an hour.      
However, the Socceroos were a regular threat on the break with some nice combination play in the 29th minute between Riley McGree and Metcalfe, seeing the latter blaze a shot over.    

Mexico conjured up a chance 37 minutes in when a neat flick from Orbelin Pineda found Jesus Gallardo in the left of the box, the fullback’s shot stinging Maty Ryan’s palms.     
The side continued to put Australia under pressure, looking to exploit the space down both flanks.      
But the Aussies repelled this late first-half surge to go into the break with their slender lead intact.        
The Socceroos got off to a tough start to the second half, with Keanu Baccus adjudged to have handled the ball in the box, seeing a penalty awarded 54 minutes in.      
Santiago Gimenez stepped up and saw his effort thunder back off the left post before the ball was cleared.      
Fortunes turned for Australia just after the hour mark when Riley McGree was tripped in the area for an Australian spot kick.      
Boyle took responsibility and blasted the ball down the middle, making it the perfect return to international football for the dynamic winger as the Socceroos went two up.   

Mexico kept on threatening, though, and were given another penalty 68 minutes in after Cameron Burgess fouled Uriel Antuna.     
Substitute Raul Jimenez kept his nerve and converted into the right side of the net to give the Socceroos a tense final 15 minutes in Dallas.     
Australia couldn’t hold on as a defensive mix-up proved fatal with seven minutes to go.      
Cesar Huerta latched onto a long ball into the left channel and lashed it past Ryan into the roof of the net.      
El Tri threw everything at the Socceroos in the final moments, but Australia held out to settle for a draw.

Match Stats

Mexico 2 (Raul Jimenez 69’ penalty, Caesar Huerta 83’)  
Australia 2 (Harry Souttar 16’, Martin Boyle 61’ penalty) 
Mexico: 1. Guillermo Ochoa, 2. Julian Araujo (3. Kevin Alvarez 82’), 4. Edson Alvarez, 5. Johan Vasquez, 23. Jesus Gallardo, 7. Luis Romo, 16. Hector Herrera (14. Erick Sanchez 77’), 17. Orbelin Pineda (22. Jordi Cortizo 77’), 10. Alexis Vega (21. Cesar Huerta 60’), 15. Uriel Antuna (25. Roberto Alvarado 82’), 11. Santiago Gimenez (9. Raul Jimenez 60’) 
Substitutes: 1. Jose Antonio Rodriguez (GK), 12. Angel Malagon (GK), 19. Gliberto Sepulveda, 96. Jesus Angulo, 8. Carlos Rodriguez, 98. Jesus Orozco 
Yellow Cards: Raul Jimenez 70’ 
Red Cards: Nil 
Australia: 1. Maty Ryan (GK) (C), 3. Nathaniel Atkinson, 19. Harry Souttar, 21. Cameron Burgess, 4. Kye Rowles, 20. Keanu Baccus (2. Milos Degenek 88’), 22. Jackson Irvine (5. Aiden O’Neill 88’), 8. Connor Metcalfe (10. Denis Genreau 68’), 6. Martin Boyle (11. Sam Silvera 74’), 15. Mitch Duke (Nick D’Agostino 68’), 14. Riley McGree 
Substitutes: 12. Tom Glover (GK), 13. Ryan Strain, 16. Aziz Behich, 17. Cammy Devlin, 18. Ashley Maynard-Brewer (GK), 23. Alessandro Circati 
Yellow Cards: Mitch Duke 45+1’, Connor Metcalfe 46’ 
Red Cards: Nil