Lozano vows Mexico rebound after Copa setback

Mexico coach Jimmy Lozano remains confident despite their 1-0 defeat to Venezuela, saying his team “will make it” to the Copa América knockout round.

“We have 90 minutes [left] and no one is getting off this ship and we will make it,” said Lozano after the match at Inglewood, California’s SoFi Stadium.

“We’re going to make it, of that I’m sure.”

Thanks to a lone goal from Pachuca’s Salomón Rondón, Venezuela earned their first-ever victory over Mexico in an official competition. The result also marked the fourth consecutive loss for El Tri to a Conmebol opponent in a non-friendly match.

Mexico are currently third in Group B but level on three points with second place Ecuador. Lozano’s team will need to earn a victory against the Ecuadorians on Sunday in their final group stage match to confirm their place in the knockout round.

Mexico nearly equalized the scoreline late into the game but failed to capitalize on a penalty by Orbelín Pineda that was saved by Venezuela goalkeeper Rafael Romo. Lozano noted post-game that there is no designated penalty-taker.

“I believe that the player who has the confidence to shoot it [takes the penalties]. We have very good shooters in the national team,” said Lozano.

“I’m not so much about choosing one…they [the players] come to an agreement, whoever is sure that they can do it.”

Mexico captain César Montes suffered an injury during Wednesday’s match, echoing Edson Álvarez’s injury from the team’s debut. Montes’ availability for future games is uncertain.

“I don’t know yet,” said Lozano about the Almeria player.

“At halftime they told us that it would be tough for him to start in the second half…today we don’t know if we’ll have him in the next game.”

Alvarez, who passed the captain armband to Montes, will miss the rest of the tournament but he stayed with El Tri to support his teammates.

Mexico’s final group stage match vs. Ecuador will take place in Glendale, Arizona’s State Farm Stadium.

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