Much to nobody’s surprise, Mexico underwhelmed once again and fell 2-1 to Italy in the opening match of the Confederations Cup. A Mario Balotelli goal was the difference in a match that was dominated by the Italians and punished Mexico for their inability to create chances and provide any real danger.
It was a result that surprised nobody and leaves us with an even more sour taste in our mouths considering our dismal 2013 so far. It is mindblowing that Mexico was undefeated up until this match (a string of draws still counts as “undefeated”) and only registered one win, away to Jamaica. The goal was to find good form before the Confederations Cup but instead it looks to be an uphill journey for the next two matches.
Corona, Flores, Rodriguez, Moreno, Salcido; Torrado, Zavala; Aquino, dos Santos, Guardado, Chicharito
Buffon; Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, De Sciglio; Pirlo, Marchisio, Motolivo, De Rossi; Giaccherini, Balotelli
Italy took control early in the match and took advantage of Mexico’s weak right flank occupied by Flores, but Corona wasn’t really challenged with Italy’s weak shots. At the 10th minute Gio outmuscled Di Sciglio and provided a cross to Guardado whose shot hit the crossbar and remained Mexico’s best chance throughout the match.
At the 17th minute, Andrea Pirlo opened the scoring with a trademark inch-perfect free kick™ and it wasn’t until the 33rd minute that Mexico equalized with a penalty scored by Chicharito after Giovani was taken down in the box.
The second half was once again dominated by the Italians and in the 79th minute Balotelli squeezed past super-captain Maza Rodriguez and poked the ball in past Corona. Soon after Mexico finally found its rhythm but still couldn’t outmuscle the Italian defense and deservedly lost the match at the 2-1 marker.
The hero for Mexico once again was Corona who looked calm and held his own throughout the match which was flooded with chances for Italy. Mexico was lucky that Italy was misfiring throughout the match with some weak shots and shots off target, but they could never really pressure Italy and the counter attacks didn’t provide any danger. Much credit to Gio who gave De Sciglio hell and even won us the penalty that gave us a lifeline in the first half.
The calls for Chepo’s head will get louder and Mexico’s next chance for redemption will be on Wednesday against the hosts *gulp* Brazil. With Mexico’s great recent record against Brazil, will they underwhelm once again or pull more magic and put two goals past them again? Your thoughts, please.