Sunday, May 23, 2010

World Cup - Mexico

Mexico seems to be one of the constants of the World Cup. They are always qualified, they are never a joy to watch, and they are always eliminated in the first knockout stage. There is little reason to believe this year will be any different.

They struggled more than ever before in qualifying, but eventually starting releasing swine flu bacteria into their opponents dressing rooms and, lo and behold, their home form led to qualification.

They keep the ball well and have some talented attacking players in Carlos Vela (Arsenal), Giovanni Dos Santos (Tottenham), Javier Hernandez (Manchester United), and Alberto Medina (Chivas de Guadalajara), but they will still play a grind it out style and hope to get through by the odd goal.

They are in a group with the hosts, France, and Uruguay. The most important match for Mexico may be their opener, which is also the tournament opener, against South Africa. The stadium will be an explosion of Bafana Bafana pandemonium, a true twelfth man advantage. There are also those that claim FIFA makes sure the referees in the opening match favor the host country, but this is hard to prove, as the host country is usually better than the team they open with. That is not the case here, so a conspiracy theory will be tested.

Mexcio's defense is tough to break down though. Both El Tri and South Africa struggle to score goals, and it is possible that this brilliant spectacle will open with a dour 0-0 draw. Mexico will hope for this. If the Bafana Bafana manage to win, and either France or Uruguay get 3 points from their match, Mexico could be in trouble.

My final verdict, I think they will advance. They will have to get 4 points from their first 2 matches though, because South Africa play France on the final match-day, and if a draw gets both those countries through, the gentleman's agreement will be in place, and El Tri will be left complaining to FIFA.

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