Alex McLeish has declared Scotland’s controversial summer tour a success after his side fell to a narrow defeat to Mexico in Estadio Azteca.
This follows last week’s 2-0 defeat to Peru in Lima. McLeish blooded nine new caps in total over the two games, including two, both goalkeepers, against Mexico. Hearts’ Jon McLaughlin played the first half and Scott Bain replaced him at half-time.
It was the former who conceded the game’s only goal after just 13 minutes. LA Galaxy’s Giovani Dos Santos scored with a precise shot into the corner and Miguel Layun hit the post shortly afterwards. Mexico also struck the bar in the second-half through Hirving Lozano as the Scots lived dangerously, Stephen O’Donnell and substitute Charlie Mulgrew clearing efforts off the line.
Swansea striker Oli McBurnie came close to equalising for Scotland three minutes after half-time with a header that bashed Guillermo Ochoa’s right post from a Johnny Russell cross.
“It was a very tough game for us at altitude and in these conditions,” said McLeish. “I think the players that we had out there can be proud.
“We are trying to get better on the technical side and we have asked the players to look at their game and be brave, to make passes and receive passes. It’s a big part of the plan going forward.”
“The trip has been great,” he added. “The players have been very professional. Normally they would be on their holiday. We would love to be going to the World Cup the same as Mexico.
“We looked to be more of a threat tonight, getting players forward in the box. I felt that we never had the best of deliveries. When we got into wide areas we hit the first man a lot when we had good presence in the box. You saw McBurnie had a good header, he was unlucky he hit the post. We had crosses that would have suited Callum Paterson but we didn’t quite succeed.
“Both teams made changes, that can upset the rhythm of the game, but both teams did what they could to impress the fans and the coaches. Mexico have good movement. Lozano looks like he can be a great player.”