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Errors from Mexico defense send El Tri packing

With only two points earned in the group stage, Mexico is now headed home after only three matches at the Copa America.

Although the squad was made up of mostly fringe and back-up options, El Tri was expected to play with more energy and determination in the competition. An argument could be made for the standout performance against Chile, but the showings against Ecuador and Bolivia were underwhelming from the Mexican squad.

On Friday, Mexico looked tired against an Ecuadorian side that solidified an easy 2-1 victory. Ecuador played with more intensity on the pitch and allowed Mexico to have little to no breathing space in the attack.

Now El Tri must set its sights on the Gold Cup, which begins next month in the United States. Here are the player ratings for Mexico's final game at the 2015 Copa America:

MexicoMexico
EcuadorEcuador
1
2
FT
Game Details

Player Ratings: (1-10, with 10 the best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating.)

GK Jesus Corona, 7 -- One of the few bright spots in Mexico's lackluster starting lineup. Although the saves weren't spectacular, Corona was a calming presence behind what was an inconsistent defense for El Tri.

DF Gerardo Flores, 5.5 -- Flores had a few good runs going forward for Mexico, but the 29-year-old couldn't connect very well with the midfield or strikers. Defensively, Flores didn't offer very much for Mexico and was lucky to not have a hand-ball called on him late in the match in front of the Mexico goal.

DF Juan Carlos Valenzuela, 4.5 -- Valenzuela was left constantly chasing Ecuador's attackers. The veteran lacked pace in defense and couldn't seem to intercept or halt anything that Ecuador threw at him.

DF Hugo Ayala, 4.5 -- Ayala was arguably one of the worst players for Mexico. The 28-year-old's mistake led to the opposition's first goal, and he was partially at fault for the second. The only true positive he may have had was earning Mexico a penalty after being fouled in the Ecuador area on a corner kick.

Hugo Ayala struggled mightily in defense for Mexico against Ecuador.
Hugo Ayala struggled mightily in defense for Mexico against Ecuador.

DF Julio Dominguez, 5 -- Dominguez was another guilty party in El Tri's abysmal defense. Although the Cruz Azul player provided some decent long passes going forward for Mexico, he lacked a true defensive presence.

DF Efrain Velarde, 4 -- An awful showing from the left wing-back. Velarde had little influence on the pitch and was very conservative in his 45 minutes. Velarde's highlight on Friday night was his one cross in the first half.

MF Juan Carlos Medina, 5.5 -- Plenty of possession for Medina but little to show for it. The midfielder nearly helped create an assist early in the first half, but it was his error that led to Ecuador's second goal.

MF Jesus Manuel Corona, 6 -- Corona provided Mexico with a couple of brilliant moves and tricks, but the youngster at times appeared selfish with the ball at his feet. The 22-year-old needs to learn to let go of the ball earlier.

MF Javier Guemez, 5.5 -- Guemez couldn't control the midfield and allowed Ecuador to have plenty of space to roam. The 23-year-old committed too many fouls and wasn't as good with his distribution as he had been in the two previous matches.

FW Raul Jimenez, 7 -- Jimenez struggled up top due to a lack of service. The striker worked hard to track back and should be given credit for scoring El Tri's only goal of the match through the 64th-minute penalty.

Raul Jimenez's penalty conversion gave Mexico a late glimmer of hope.
Raul Jimenez's penalty conversion gave Mexico a late glimmer of hope.

FW Vicente Matias Vuoso, 5.5 -- Vuoso had the opportunity once again to become Mexico's hero of the night but failed to finish the numerous chances given to him. The striker ended the game with one shot on target.

Substitutions:

MF Javier Aquino, 6 -- Was substituted in for Velarde at halftime. Plenty of energy from Aquino, but he proved to be no trouble for Ecuador's defense. He couldn't seem to break through with his dribbling.

MF Marco Fabian, 6 -- Came on for Guemez in the 52nd minute. Fabian connected well with the midfield but wasn't as threatening as Mexico needed him to be. Had one opportunity on net that he sent sailing over the crossbar.

FW Eduardo Herrera, 5.5 -- Replaced Corona in the 62nd minute. Herrera had little time on the ball and wasn't the late impact striker that Mexico needed.

Cesar Hernandez covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @cesarhfutbol.

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