Mexico played in an action packed match last night in Houston, TX. The game started heavily in favor of Mexico, but a red card sent Barrera to the bench and Nigeria would eventually take a 1-2 lead. Mexico persevered and in the second half. Chicharito found the back of the net to make it 2-2. It was another draw, but with the circumstances, El Tri has reason to hold their heads high.
1) Mexico’s passion was at an all-time high for this year
When Mexico was playing with 11 on the pitch, they had total control of the game. Barrera split defenders, Chicharito had a couple of good runs, Guardado was chasing down the ball etc. Everything was going right for Mexico. However, when Barrera got the red it looked like Nigeria was going to run the game. Yet, Mexico saw a 1-2 scoreline and lost no confidence. The play of Chicharito, Guardado, Flores, Zavala and crew was stellar. Even with the scoreline 2-2, and a man down, Mexico had several close opportunities to win. This new boost in rhythm should transfer right into CONCACAF WCQ.
2) Zavala and Herrera must start
Torrado opened up the game with Zavala, but soon would be seen as Mexico’s major weak link. Torrado was having trouble pushing forward and really found himself passing back more than to the attack. When Herrera came into the match, Mexico countered with fluidity. Attack after attack, El Tri was able cause problems for the defense. Moreover, Zavala was able to fall back and help the defense (even having solid slide tackles). These two need to continue gaining a chemistry, because they are young and have plenty of talent.
3) Nigeria should be a favorite to advance in their Confed. cup group
Although Mexico clearly should to be the better team for most of the game, Nigeria was still a dangerous side. Grouped with Uruguay, Spain, and Tahiti, Nigeria has plenty of weapons to do damage in the Confederations cup. What would be even more intriguing is if Mexico and Nigeria could find themselves in a rematch. Throughout the game, the two squads had scrums, hard tackles, and handful of yellow cards. It would make for a great Confederations cup game if Mexico can manage to face off with the Super Eagles.
Mexico will now head to Jamaica for WCQ. The month of June is going to be very important for El Tri as they have three qualification games, as well as the Confederations cup. Mexico will battle Jamaica on June 4th.