World Cup Countdown: Mexico's costly night at Jerry World

One after another, they exited the game.

Defender Nestor Araujo left in the 14th minute with a knee injury so serious he was taken to a local hospital for evaluation. His replacement, Diego Reyes, didn't return after the half with a hamstring injury, and his replacement, former Real Salt Lake defender Carlos Salcedo, had to leave the game with a fractured collarbone, a repeat of the injury he suffered at the 2017 Confederations Cup.

To say the least, Mexico's friendly against Croatia at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, did not go well.

It's too early to tell whether the chances of Araujo, Reyes or Salcedo going to Russia have been compromised, but their injuries brought back memories of the broken leg Luis Montes suffered at Jerry World on the eve of the 2014 World Cup, costing him a trip to Brazil.

Mexico lost to Croatia, 1-0, on Ivan Rakitic's penalty kick in the second half after a rash challenge by defender Miguel Layun on Tin Jedvajin the penalty area in the 61st minute.

The result was a disappointment for the 79,128 fans and for El Tri, which was coming off a 3-0 win over Iceland and heavily favored against Croatia, which released six players, including star Luka Modric, after the 2-0 loss to Peru on Friday in Miami. But Coach Juan Carlos Osorio was more concerned about the injuries to Araujo and Salcedo, the most serious of the injuries.

"A huge setback," he said, "two injuries that at the moment are very serious with the chance to become worse. So if you ask me, I can digest the result, but the injuries? I’m very concerned and very unhappy."

Osorio said any serious injury is concerning, let alone in the context of a World Cup on the horizon.

"For these guys," he added, "the World Cup means so much. I can honestly say that I am deeply sorry for what happened today."

Jona Watch. California teenager Jonathan Gonzalez did not play in either game for Mexico.

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