This friendly with Mexico was sandwiched between two World Cup Qualifying games. The match against Italy in February was lost by one goal, the Georgia fixture is still to come in one month's time. Although it will not have been planned with this in mind, this game was well-timed to give England a chance to recollect after their defeat by the Italians before their next serious match on 30 April takes place. Georgia though should not pose a serious threat, but an extra chance for the England team to get together and play a competitive game is always welcome.
Glenn Hoddle had a patched side after losing ten of his original players from his twenty five man squad. David James made his England debut in goals with Seaman not yet match fit and Walker injured. Robbie Fowler took over from Alan Shearer who is also injured and Martin Keown was re-called to the side for the first time in four years.
The game took a while to come to life but it did in the nineteenth minute. Sheringham received a pass from Lee and was just lining up the shot when he was stopped by Pardo. The Mexican defender, still on the ground after this challenge, saw Ince going to collect the briefly unpossessed ball and tapped Ince's ankles which took him to the ground in the penalty area. The Portuguese referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty. In the absence of Shearer, Sheringham took the penalty sending Rios the wrong way and slid the ball into the net.
This goal boosted England's moral as they tried to extend their lead in the first half. Ince was brought down again, this time by Coyote who was shown the yellow card. Lee had a good long range effort but the Mexican 'keeper punched the ball away.
Towards the end of the first period, Sheringham was substituted by Wright after the Tottenham player required treatment for an injury under his left eye. Later in the game Wright was also to receive a facial injury. Seeing this as an opportunity to catch England off-guard while they re-adjusted, Mexico pressed forward. They could have had a goal when James dropped the ball close to the interval but danger was averted, and then Suarez headed the ball wide from a free-kick.
During the interval Mexico substituted Pelaez for Hermosillo and Hernandez came on for Alves but neither changes were enough for the visitors to recover the slim scoreline.
Eight minutes after the break England took off Batty and replaced him with Redknapp. Within one minute of this change England scored again. Redknapp wasn't involved in the build up, but Wright and Le Saux were. They worked the ball which was fisted away by Rios, but Fowler was there to pick up on the loose ball and nodded it into the net for his first senior goal for England.
Ranked as the eleventh best team in the world, Mexico did not give up after going behind further, especially with their being so much time still remaining. Aspe drove a shot at England's goal which James managed to put over the crossbar, and then Bernal (a substitute for Galindo) chipped a dangerous ball which landed on the top of the net to England's relief.
The Mexicans were persistant with their efforts to score and their best chance came from Ramirez, only for him to put the ball wide of the post. This was their last serious opportunity to salvage anything from this game. The final scored was 2-0 to England.
James, Keown, Pearce, Batty (Redknapp 54 mins), Southgate, Le Saux, Lee, Ince, Fowler, Sheringham (Wright 38 mins), McManaman (Butt 69 mins).
Subs Not Used: May, Flowers, G Neville, Collymore.
Rios (Pineda 58 mins), Pardo, Suarez, Davino, R Ramirez, Coyote (N Ramirez 67 mins), Alfaro, Galindo (Bernal 55 mins), Garcia, Hermosillo (Pelaez 46 mins), Zague (Hernandez 46 mins).
Subs Not Used: Sanchez, Del Olmo, Arias.
England Scorers: Sheringham (20 min - penalty), Fowler (55 mins)
Mexico Cautions: Coyote, Garcia
Referee: V Pereira (Portugal)