The 2-0 victory against Canada Tuesday night all but secured Mexico’s spot into the Hexagonal round of the World Cup Qualifiers. Guardado started with a goal by penalty kick at the 16th minute and Tecatito secured the victory with an amazing goal inside the box at the end of the first half.
The game lost its luster after that. The beginning of the second half showed some changes with Yasser Corona coming in for Hector Moreno but even that somewhat risky movie by Osorio went unnoticed in the bore the rest of the match provided for us.
Tecatito might have tried something out and succeed in scoring that goal in the 48th minute, but the rest of the match showed a Mexican side that wasn’t as strong as they were during the first leg in Vancouver. Considering they were at the Azteca, the expectations were even higher.
There were predictions of a “derrota” – an obliteration of the Canadian side. And while Mexico did in fact dominate the game, holding the possession as well as the ball mostly on the opposing end, the definition was not there at all. Much of the game saw El Tri centering the ball towards goal but a header going awry, the Canadian players clearing it out, or an easy save by Borjan. Guardado’s goal came from a penalty kick, leaving only Tecatito’s goal to come out of true playing time.
This victory was not as impressive as the one on March 25th and going into the hexagonal round, Mexico must tread lightly when it comes to their style of play. Like Osorio said during the press conference, this was the last chance for Mexico to play around with their line-up before the call ups to both Copa America and the Olympics. What results come out of the those two tournaments will determine how Mexico goes about the rest of their qualifying matches.
This story has played itself before. Mexico goes into the hexagonal round decently strong (with 10 goals under their belt and zero conceded) and then fails to play to their potential. The same mistake should not and will not be repeated twice. The line-up against Canada will most likely not be the same one that will play for the more important matches during the hexagonal but steps must be taken careful and each move Osorio from here on out must be beneficial to the future of the squad and their road to victory.