Job done! Mexico does what it needs to do with Nations League group-clinching win

Raul Jimenez Mexico 2019
El Tri wasn't dazzling at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez but did more than enough to lock up the top spot in its group & advance to the semifinals

Mexico wasn't crisp Friday night. Tata Martino won't be thrilled with everything that happened. It's pretty hard to complain about a 3-0 result, though.

It'll be even more difficult once you consider the circumstances. Mexico came into the Concacaf Nations League expected to win the group. They accomplished that with a game to spare. They now move to next summer's final four, where Honduras and likely Costa Rica and the U.S. will await.

Job done. Mission accomplished. And with 5-1, 3-1 and 3-0 results thus far, El Tri barely have broken a sweat to get there. 

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Maybe that doesn't mean too much to the majority of Mexico fans, but a team can only play the teams put in front of it. Martino has blended veteran players, like Raul Jimenez, who had a double in Friday's triumph, with up-and-comers such as center back Cesar Montes and winger Uriel Antuna. That has expanded the player pool, giving the Argentine boss many more options to choose from as World Cup qualification approaches.

Right now, Mexico doesn't simply look like the best team in Concacaf. It also looks like by far the deepest.

We saw that in the Gold Cup, as a number of familiar faces missed out because of injuries or personal reasons. We saw that in Mexico's Nations League debut when rising stars like Jose Juan Macias and Cristian Calderon helping the team to victories. And we saw it Friday night with several World Cup veterans and Gold Cup champions in the XI but even still a lack of star names like Hirving Lozano, Andres Guardado and others who certainly will make the cut for the team's most important contests.

A win in Panama shouldn't be taken for granted for Mexico. The teams have drawn four times at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez - the most common result in the history of the series when played in Panama. So, the fact that Mexico didn't play all that well and still won by a convincing scoreline should be something El Tri can be proud of.

Finishing the group with a perfect record is well within reach, with Bermuda likely to struggle not only with the atmosphere and altitude in Toluca but also the abundance of talent Mexico has in its squad. There simply are too many good players on the field for Mexico's opponents to stop them right now - even if one or two have an off night.

This is how Mexico should look. If you make a mistake, they should capitalize. If you allow any breathing room, they should take advantage. The last goal, a ball over the top for Uriel Antuna that suddenly ended up being a penalty kick is a great example. Panama switched off, and Mexico punished them.

That's the experience of playing against the region's top team. There will be times when other teams are able to give Mexico their best, to punch them in the mouth as they look to knock out the heavyweight champion of the region. Lately, however, those nights have been few and far between.

Even if Mexico isn't playing its best soccer every time out, it's doing more than enough not only to accomplish what it needs to in this competition but also to build toward the future.