Breaking down El Tri’s World Cup group

Mandžukić and Croatia will look to cause problems against Mexico in the final match of group play (Getty)


On December 6th, the world watched as the draw was made for the FIFA World Cup. Mexico was drawn into a difficult group with Cameroon, Brazil (Host), and Croatia. However, at the end of the draw, Mexico looks to have the best chance to advance from their group as a CONCACAF representative. Moreover, Mexico’s group might be just the right balance of comfort and difficulty to make a run in 2014.


Currently ranked 59th in the FIFA rankings, Cameroon is Mexico’s first foe in the World Cup. Cameroon qualified fairly easily, but has had some suspect results in 2013. In the 2014 Africa cup of Nation’s qualification, Cameroon has lost to both the Congo and Gabon. It is hard to gage how powerful Cameroon will be but they will be lead by Samuel Eto’o. However, with a lack of marquee victories, Mexico shouldn’t feel overly intimated facing Cameroon, but also shouldn’t believe it will be a walk in the park.


Well…they are the dreaded top dog of the group. Mexico had been in Brazil’s group for the 2013 Confederations Cup and lost 0-2. Brazil would go on to win the Confederations Cup with a 3-0 victory over Spain. This will be a very difficult game for El Tri, but that doesn’t mean points are impossible. In their matchup in 2013, Brazil scored early and Mexico missed several opportunities to tie it up. Brazil’s second goal came on a defensive error and late in the game. Moreover, the Mexico side was at the time, in an ugly rut. A motivated Mexico can still fight for a positive result, and El Tri has had excellent matches against Brazil over the past few years. Brazil’s coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, even called Brazil vs Mexico a “classico,” so expect a target on Mexico’s back. That being said, this should be the most anticipated match of Group A.


A Top-20 side, Croatia has a very talented team in this group. Being the final rival for Mexico in group play means that these two could be fighting for the second spot to advance. Lead by big names like Srna and Mandžukić, Croatia are a quality European side. Expect this match to be a very physical one, which means it could all come down to one goal. Croatia may even be favorited to advance in this group, but if Mexico catches its fire from 2011/12, the Croatians may have a lot to handle.

Mexico opens up their World Cup group play on June 13, 2014 against Cameroon.

Vamos México!


11 thoughts on “Breaking down El Tri’s World Cup group”

  1. Very excited over this group, its not walk on the park like you mentioned but el Piojo called on many new players who may never got a chance with another coach . The likes of Layun & Aguilar should have a spot on the team the way they lifted Mexico on the last 2 games. Now we have to wait for Vela to agree to come back and add the cherry on el tri’s cake. Lets just hope Herrera doesnt continue experimenting, he has found very good players and with the mix of Gio, CH14, Moreno, Ochoa and Vela it could make us forget the qualifiers. I expected a harder group for the World Cup, we got let got easy compared to our other concacaf parteners. Camaroon and Croatia should be a win, I doubt 2-3 top players on each team can hold Mexico down. Brazil on the other hands will be luck for us to even get a draw. Cant wait for the first match to start!!!! Lets also pray for USA they got it hard but with the help of Club Tijuana they can do it LOL

  2. I bet costa rica, USA, and honduras wants to be on Mexico spot right now;D but Mexico has some tough games ahead. With EL TRI slow defence camerun could turn the the game ugly for mexico very quickly with there speed and power. So its going to be interesting on who wins the second spot. On the other hand with a new coach(miguel herrera), local players who are on a hot streak plus mexicans who play on the old continent could equal to the best team mexico has ever had and who knows maybe they could pull an upset over Brazil.

    1. Mexico has had the strenght in defense but the problem was goals (front line) With Moreno, Marquez, Nilo, Ayala, Aguilar it cant get better then that. As for the 16th if we do make it, I doubt Spain will power house like they did in 2010. The team Im most worried about is HOlland, those guys are quick on the ground and the air.

  3. If Mexico plays at full strength and are mentally focused they can possibly win this group with 7 points. However if 2014 is similar to 2013, I see Mexico finishing last place in the group with 1 point.

  4. What do you guys think of Aquino and guardado the 5-3-2 has no real wings but guardado is playing as a left back for Valencia and Aquino is a right wing for Villarial do you guys think they have a place on the first 10 or are they bench players, can Aquino play as a full back he is really strong defensively but he is only 5’5 or 5’6

  5. One of Croatias top player, Mario Mandžukić is suspended for the first three games of the world cup.

    Thats a positive for México. They hace the most manageable group for Concacaf teams. que they should advance but the R16 is gonna be tough.

    1. And now one of their defenders, Josip Simunic, is suspended for 10 official matches which includes the world cup.

      Things are looking favorable for mexico.

      1. That sucks for Simunic his going to miss the last world cup of his playing career. Ive being reading comments from croation fans and there people that what Josip sayed should not offend many people or be considered as racism. Acording to coations what he said was “FOR MY HOMELAND” and its a famous chant that comes from decads even before wwll. Croatia federation is going to fight for Simunic to try to revoke the suspension.

  6. It is stupid, since it is making all delusional, to name only Srna and Mandzukic, when Croatia has likes of Modric, Kovacic Rakitic, Pranjic, Olic, Kranjcar, Corluka, Lovren in their lineup. These are all well-known players who are playing or played in big clubs, some of them are considered world class, sth. what Mexico doesn’t have in their lineup.

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