Despite all the possession and great tactical moves, the best El Tri could do after 90 minutes was a scoreless draw against Guatemala. This was definitely a disappointment to say the least compared to the 6-0 victory many fans and skeptics witnessed just a few days before.
There was confidence exuberating from the Mexican side and the attacking went strong. But although the attacking side was still strong, the finishing from the players just was not there.
The Aztecs had a total of 32 shots on goal compared to Guatemala’s 3 shots and yet, there was nothing from this side. The game was definitely one-sided, with Guatemala taking a defensive strategy pretty much the whole game (probably trying to avoid dealing with a situation that Cuba did) and Mexico frustratingly trying to put one behind the net.
Which of course, created even more skepticism around the Mexican National Soccer Team. They are already guaranteed a spot in the next round; with a win having them face Panama. A tie or draw would have them face Costa Rica.
The next couple of games, including the one they are going into Wednesday afternoon against Trinidad and Tobago, will not be as easy nor as enjoyable as their game against Cuba was. That was made very clear against Guatemala.
Mexico cannot afford to lack confidence from the minute the whistle blows. They cannot spend the first couple of minutes trying to get comfortable. They have to score soon and effortlessly. That is the only way they will remain confident and not get frustrated with scoreless draw after scoreless draw.
The opposing teams are smart to pay attention to Mexico’s tactics. Guatemala played their defensive strategy and it worked well for them. Trinidad and Tobago has been playing very strong offensively their last two games but it would not be ignorant to image them switch up their style of play when they take on El Tri.
Herrera should stop putting so much blame on the refs (although he is not wrong to go up to them after the games to criticize their lack of cards given as well as clear penalties or free kicks rewarded) and should focus on trying to make more changes during the half if things are not going as planned.
We have yet to see the Dos Santos brothers really have a large amount of playing time together, which in my personal opinion, is a real loss so far in the tournament. Between Jonathan’s clear dominance in the middle and Gio’s great speed up top, the brothers would have a great set of chemistry that could produce some great results.
As of now, there has been no real danger to Mexico’s defensive side but that should not be taken lightly by Herrera either. There should be consistency and Maza Rodriguez must command his post now that Marquez is out of the picture. Not much has been seen from Guardado during the Guatemala game and Hector Herrera’s mistakes in the middle are starting to become a problem. That will have to seriously addressed if the team continues on (and most likely, they will).
The reluctance to pay attention to the beginning of the game instead of looking for an ending result is Mexico’s greatest fault. This cannot continue. It could cost them the tournament if it does.