Mexico is one of three teams not performing as well as expected in the CONCACAF Gold Cup of 2015, and who only won one of three games. The tie game with Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday was thoroughly entertaining, but Mexico could not have been proud of their performance. In fact, the only thing redeemable about the game on Wednesday is that the Mexican team is still alive and has a chance to get back on track.
The simple facts alone are painful for both the Mexican team and its fans to hear, but a tie means that they can only finish in second place among three teams with mediocre talent. It also means Mexico will be playing a quarterfinal on Sunday, against Costa Rica in East Rutherford, N.J. The dissatisfaction was not only limited to the result, but Mexico had come into the game right after a frustrating match with Guatemala. In that match Mexico was unable to score a single goal, and it also reminded them of past failures. If Mexico was scoring goals during dominant possessions it would have led to motivation to turn things around, and made them play better in that game, as well as future games of the CONCACAF Gold Cup of 2015 .
The problem had seemed to be on its way to being fixed for most of Wednesday’s meeting. In just over 30 minutes, Paul Aguilar put the Mexicans in the lead, and the relief was intense. It prompted coach Miguel Herrera and the players to spontaneously celebrate on the sidelines. With a second class squad, or “B” squad, which was left out of the Copa America in the group stage, and the first-class players failing to lessen the despair, the pressure on the coach, who is known for his compelling personality and the players was extreme. Carlos Vela showed off his abilities with a great goal shortly after the break, and the Mexicans were on the road to entering into the quarterfinals with proud feelings.
Unfortunately, the road would lead to more disappointment, as the Mexican team would continue to not play very well. Within 13 minutes, it was confirmed the Mexicans have plenty of defensive problems, and also a lack of physical and mental flexibility. Three goals were scored by Trinidad, because of Kenwyne Jones intimidating the Mexican back-line. The Mexicans were susceptible to everything Trinidad threw at them. The two late goals for Mexico put them ahead by one, but the defense would fail them late in the game, leading Costa Rica to face the Mexican team on Sunday, instead of facing Panama.
Herrera converted back to his preferred 5-3-2 formation for the match, but he still could not get the most talented players to perform well enough. It appears as if the Mexicans team captain, Andres Guardado, is the only one stepping up and doing what is necessary to regain the superiority of the CONCACAF, in order to earn a playoff with the U.S.and have a spot in the 2017 Gold Cup. The news for Mexico gets worse, because Giovanni dos Santos injured his left abductor muscle, and will more than likely be unable to play on Sunday, July 18, against Costa Rica. Maybe the only reassurance for the Mexican team is the ranking of their opponent for Sunday’s game. Costa Rica entered into the tournament wanting to continue its strong run from last summer in Brazil, but the only thing they have been able to show is what a mistake it was to let go of their coach, Jorge Luis Pinto. Like Mexico, the Costa Ricans, have not been playing well thus far in the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2015.
Commentary by Katherine Miller-Chichester
International Business Times: Mexico vs. Costa Rico 2015: prediction, date, time, preview for Gold Cup quarterfinal
mlssoccer.com: Mexico 6, Cuba nothing CONCACAF Gold Cup recap
mlssoccer.com: Mexico 4 Trinidad and Tobago 4 CONCACAF Gold Cup recap
Photo Courtesy of Martin D’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License