Miguel Layun
Miguel Layun is congratulated by his Mexico teammates after scoring against Bolivia. Reuters

A first-half goal from Miguel Layún gave Mexico a solid but far from spectacular 1-0 friendly win over Bolivia in Colorado on Tuesday. In El Tri’s second game since the 2014 World Cup, coach Miguel Herrera picked a young side, and, while they had plenty of possession, they struggled to penetrate a Bolivia team that had been soundly beaten 4-0 by Ecuador just a few days earlier.

Herrera made 11 changes to the lineup that played out a goalless draw with Chile on Saturday, as he stated his desire to get two strong teams capable of competing in both the Copa America and Gold Cup next summer. Perhaps most notably, there was a debut for striker Erick Torres on the back of his 14 goals in Major League Soccer this season with Chivas USA. While the 21-year-old couldn’t mark his debut by getting on the score sheet, he did play a major role in the opening goal at the home of the Colorado Rapids. In the 18th minute, Torres played a one-two with similarly inexperienced strike partner Jonathan Orozco and hit a low left-footed shot that was blocked by Bolivia goalkeeper Daniel Vaca. But left wing-back Layún was on hand to continue to show his attacking threat with his third goal for his country.

Disappointingly, though, Mexico were unable to add to their lead at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park as their scoring woes continued to just six goals scored in their last eight matches. Torres forced another good save from the Bolivia stopper in the second half and substitute Andres Guardado struck a post, as Ronaldo Eguino did late on for Bolivia. By that point the South Americans had been reduced to 10 men when Ramiro Ballivian was shown a red card.

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