Coach Kevin Sheedy was proud in defeat as Everton Under-18s were beaten 1-0 by Tigres in their first match at this year’s Dallas Cup.
The Young Blues slipped to a loss by the narrowest margins in front of several thousand spectators at the Cotton Bowl stadium.
After conceding early on and having Josef Yarney sent off, Everton ended the game strongly and would have earned a deserved draw had forward Nathan Broadhurst not been denied by a top save from Tigres keeper Sergio Silva.
“The lads gave it their all and more against a good Mexican team,” Sheedy said. “It was difficult because of Tigres’ style of play but I just want to focus on our lads. When we went down to 10 men, we were the better team. We created two really good chances which, on the day, we didn’t take.
“The lads will have gained so much from that in terms of experience. There were things going on in the game but they kept their heads.
“I’m really disappointed not to to win but ultimately I think we got something out of that game, individually and collectively. I don’t like losing but sometimes you get more out of a game like this.
“This is why we come to these kind of tournaments and I’m now looking forward to the game tomorrow.”
It is a quick turnaround now for Everton, who now face a must-win game against Kyoto Sanga on Monday afternoon.
The Japanese side also lost their first game of the competition, going down to a 2-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake.
Sheedy added: “We go back to the hotel, refuel and get the players off to their beds early. I’m sure they will sleep well tonight after the effort they put in.
“We will speak to them tonight and get their focus on Monday’s game. Hopefully we can get a result but, as I said before, the performance is more important.
“If we play like we did today, we’ll win more games than we’ll lose.”