Colombia beats Mexico 2-0 in friendly

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MIAMI (AP) -- Radamel Falcao and Juan Cuadrado scored as Colombia defeated Mexico 2-0 in a friendly on Wednesday, giving new coach Jose Pekerman a win on debut.

Falcao gave Colombia a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute. Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa deflected but failed to clear Dorlan Pabon's shot from the right wing. Falcao retrieved the loose ball and tapped in a shot from inside the 6-yard box.

Cuadrado's goal in the 59th minute put Mexico in a deeper hole. James Rodriguez passed to Pablo Armero on the left wing. Armero dribbled toward the penalty area and picked out Cuadrado near the far post, where he converted on from 10 yards.

Pekerman, a former Argentina national team coach, took over Colombia in January, replacing Leonel Alvarez.

"Our players displayed will and determination throughout the match," Pekerman said. "Mexico had been playing at a high level of football and we were able to win."

Mexico had opportunities: Carlos Salcido's 51st minute open shot from 25 yards rolled wide off the left post while Jesus Zavala hit the post from close range in the 21st minute.

"I prefer to give Colombia the credit rather than what we lacked," Mexico coach Jose De La Torre said. "They made plays that we couldn't contain."

Pekerman credited the work of his two immediate predecessors, Alvarez and Hernan Dario Gomez.

"This group can continue to make progress," Pekerman said.

Colombia resumes South American World Cup qualifiers against Peru on June 2. Mexico will play its first CONCACAF World Cup qualifier against Guyana on June 8.