Mexico beats Senegal with late goals from Jesus Duenas, Rodolfo Pizarro
MIAMI -- Jesus Duenas and Rodolfo Pizarro scored second-half goals to help Mexico beat Senegal 2-0 in an exhibition game Wednesday night.
Playing before a pro-Mexico crowd of 15,588 at Marlins Park, Mexico finally broke through in the 73rd minute on Duenas' strike. Candido Ramirez, who entered the match a minute earlier, centered a pass from the left wing to Duenas, who headed in a shot from the edges of the six-yard box.
Mexico secured the victory on Pizarro's goal in the 87th minute. Pizarro retrieved Hirving Lozano's cross from the right wing and one-timed a shot from eight yards past Senegal goalkeeper Pape Ndiaye.
Mexico improved to 3-0 since Juan Carlos Osorio took over as coach in November. Osorio used the match as a tuneup for Mexico's World Cup qualifier against Canada next month.
Mexico dominated play in the first half with repeated runs on goal, but could not convert a shot past Ndiaye. Four minutes into the second half, Mexico nearly struck again when Ndiaye stopped Eduardo Herrera's header near the six-yard box.
Senegal and Mexico traded scoring opportunities during a two-minute span midway through the second half. Ibrahima Diop nearly broke the scoreless match for Senegal in the 63rd minute when he dribbled unmarked into the penalty area. But Diop's shot from 15 yards sailed wide right.
In the 65th minute, Ndiaye stopped Lozano's open shot from 22 yards.
Soon after the opening whistle, Mexico applied immediate pressure on the Senegal backline. Jesus Zavala and Gerardo Flores had headers off corner kicks sail above the crossbar in the 10th and 21st minutes.
Lozano had another scoring opportunity in the 19th minute, when his shot from 20 yards rolled wide off the left post.
Limited in its first half attacks, Senegal had the best scoring opportunity of the opening 45 minutes when Cherif Sane dribbled unmarked toward the right wing and crossed to an open Dame Gueye on the far post. Mexico goalkeeper Jesus Corona cleared Gueye's attempt from 15 yards with a sliding deflection in the 28th minute.
Mexico will play at Canada on March 25 in the first leg of a World Cup qualifying set with a return home match four days later.
Senegal's next match is an African Nations Cup qualifier against Niger on Feb. 22.