Marco Fabian scored three times and Mexico dominated Trinidad & Tobago en route to a 7-1 win Friday night in the opening match for both at CONCACAF Olympic qualifying.
Fabian also was instrumental in another goal as El Tri avoided the misstep of four years ago, when it was held to a 1-1 draw with Canada in its first match and failed to get out of the group stage.
Alan Pulido, Diego Reyes, Israel Jimenez and Javier Cortes also scored for Mexico, which beat Trinidad for the third time in as many tries at the CONCACAF under-23 finals.
"The team played well. It was positioned well, it held possession," Mexico coach Luis Fernando Tena said. "We had a good intensity. We were always looking to score more goals while respecting our rival."
Mexico was dominant from the start, not allowing Trinidad a chance at goal until Sean De Silva's shot in the 43rd minute.
With goalkeeper Andre Marchan, Trinidad defender Daniel Cyrus kept the Soca Warriors on even terms for most of the first half. Cyrus twice blocked shots by Pulido while Marchan was active throughout, denying Fabian on seemingly sure goals at least once in each half.
Mexico went ahead in the 29th minute on its eighth corner of the match. David Cabrera curled it to the near post, where Reyes sent a back header in front of the goal. Marchan was unable to grab it with Fabian challenging, and the ball fell to Pulido, who took it off his thighs and finished with a volley from the edge of the six-yard box.
El Tri continued to press the issue and doubled its lead four minutes later. Miguel Ponce was left unmarked 35 meters from goal and launched a left-footed ball into the area where Chivas teammate Fabian ran onto it to head in from nine meters.
Trinidad finally managed some sustained possession in the Mexican end toward the end of the first half. It culiminated when De Silva was able to get a clean look at goal and attempt a right-footed effort that Mexican keeper Liborio Sanchez grabbed without too much trouble.
Mexico resumed its control in the second half. Cabrera's free kick from 25 meters cleared the wall, and Marchan scrambled to his left to get his hands to it. The ball bounced only a few meters away where Hiram Mier got an extended right leg to it, sending it across the face of the goal. Reyes was left unmarked and headed it into an open net.
"I think that the guys started to open up. We lost discipline and shape," Trinidad coach Angus Eve said. "You can't do that against Mexico. Our discipline defensively was very poor."
Fabian scored his second in the 69th, finishing from the top of the 18 after Jimenez and Javier Cortes worked the ball down the right side.
Jimenez added his in the 75th, bouncing a free kick from 25 meters once before it settled inside the right post past Marchan.
Fabian completed his trio in the 85th, converting off a rebound after Marchan made the initial save of a shot by Cortes.
Leading by six goals, second-half entry Nestor Calderon was removed from the game with an apparent injury, leaving Mexico with only 10 players having already made its three substitutions.
"We have a lot of players who were hit and are a bit beat up," Tena said. "We'll have to wait until the last minute to see who we can count on. We have 48 hours to face Honduras and that is a tough rival. It could be the toughest rival for us in our group. (David) Cabrera, (Nestor) Calderon, (Javier) Cortes and (Javier) Aquino took some hits."
Trinidad capitalized when Kevin Molina, the Soca Warriors leading scorer in Caribbean qualifying, tallied a consolation goal in the 88th. He ran on to Sheldon Bateau's cross that bounced through the area to the back post, where Molina volleyed with a simple touch.
Cortes completed the scoring in the 90th, exchanging passes with Pulido before finishing with a right-footed shot that Marchan was able to partially block but not prevent from getting under him.
Trinidad next will face Panama, which lost 3-1 to Honduras earlier Friday, on Sunday, while Mexico will clash with the defending CONCACAF U-23 champion Catrachos.
"From what I've seen of Mexico, I think they'll beat everybody in the group," Eve said. "Then we are to do business against the other teams. So we still have a chance. But we have to get a result in the next game to keep our chances alive."
VIDEO Highlights - T&T vs Mexico
Trinidad & Tobago: - Andre Marchan, Sheldon Bateau (capt), Kevan George, Leslie Russell, Sean De Silva (Micah Lewis 56th), Jeromie Williams (Yellow 55) (Curtis Gonzales 56th), Jamal Gay, Kevin Molino, Jayson Joseph (Trevin Caesar 66th), Mekeil Williams, Daneil Cyrus.
Coach: - Angus Eve.
México: - Liborio Sánchez, Israel Jiménez, Hiram Mier, Diego Reyes, Darvin Chávez, Héctor Herrera, David Cabrera (Jorge Enríquez 63rd), Javier Aquino (Javier Cortés 54th), Miguel Ponce (Néstor Calderón 73rd), Marco Fabián, Alan Pulido.
Coach: - Luis Fernando Tena.
Attendance: - 8521.
Venue: - The Home Depot Center, California.
Referee: - Raymond Bogle (Jamaica).