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2017 International Friendly, International Friendly
  • Rodolfo Pizarro (19')
  • Elias Hern├índez (26' PEN)
  • Antonio Bareiro (45'+2')

Mexico holds on to beat Paraguay but loses Alan Pulido to injury

Elias Hernandez, left, doubled Mexico's lead from the penalty spot. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Rodolfo Pizarro and Elias Hernandez scored as Mexico held on for a 2-1 friendly win over Paraguay in Seattle on Saturday, though it came at the expense of a potentially serious injury to Alan Pulido.

The game served as El Tri's final tuneup before the CONCACAF Gold Cup, with Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio and most of the first-choice players still in Russia at the Confederations Cups.

Mexico was up 2-0 before Antonio Bareiro got a goal back for Paraguay just before halftime, though the South Americans could not find an equalizer.

But the victory was marred by a second-half injury to Pulido. A source confirmed to ESPN that the Chivas forward suffered a fracture in in his right upper arm, as first reported by TV Azteca.

Moments after Orbelin Pineda saw his header saved at point-blank range, Pizarro opened the scoring in the 19th minute after winning the ball back in the Paraguay box, moving past one defender and unleashing a quick shot to the far post.

Hernandez, who scored the only goal in Mexico's previous friendly against Ghana, doubled the lead in the 26th minute from the penalty spot after Paraguay's Alan Benitez brought him down in the box.

It was very nearly 3-0 in the 41st minute as Pineda connected with Hernandez with a superb pass to the back post, Antony Silva got across in time to save.

But just before halftime, Paraguay got back into the game through Bareiro, who hit the crossbar with his initial attempt but followed up that header that beat Mexico keeper Jose Corona.

There were no goals in the second half, but still some bad news for Mexico as Pulido suffered his injury after landing hard following an aerial duel. He had to be helped off the pitch before the hour mark.

Pulido left the pitch with his arm restrained and was taken to a Seattle hospital, just a few minutes after arriving at the locker room.

"Apparently is a broken humerus," stand-in Mexico coach Luis Pompilio told ESPN after the match. "We feel sorry for him.

"He's an important player but we have the option to make a substitution 24 hours before the Gold Cup. In the 40 players roster we have options like Erick Torres and Oribe Peralta."

Mexico opens Gold Cup play on Sunday against El Salvador.

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