Mexico opened up their World Cup run in Natal with a 1-0 win against Cameroon thanks to a goal from Oribe Peralta.
Two goals were disallowed for the Mexican side, but a lone goal was enough to take all three points while playing under pouring rain.
Line ups: Mexico: Ochoa, Moreno, Márquez, Rodríguez, Layún, Aguilar, Vázquez, Herrera(Salcido 91′), Guardado(68′ Fabian), Dos Santos, Peralta(Hernandez 73′).
Cameroon: Itandje, Ekotto, Nkoulou, Djeugoue(Nounkeu 46′), Song(Webo 79′), Moukandjo, Eto’o, Moting, Chedjou, Mbia, Enoh.
Mexico started off strong, with runs from Miguel Layun propelling the team down the left flank. El Tri held possession and looked stronger than their opponents in the opening minutes.
In the 11th minute, Giovani Dos Santos scored, but Colombian referee Wilmar Roldán called the goal offside and the score remained at zero.
Again, Dos Santos has a goal disallowed. In the 30th minute a Mexico goal was marked offside during a corner.
Mexico finally had a goal in the 60th minute with a shot from Oribe Peralta. Dos Santos shot, Cameroon goalkeeper Itandje Charles blocked, but Peralta was there to take the follow up shot for the 1-0 lead.
Cameroon began to inch up toward the Mexican goal, but el Tri held. A shot in the 91st minute seemed to be one of Cameroon’s best opportunities in the game, but a flying Guillermo Ochoa caught the shot and kept Mexico in the lead.
Mexico had an opportunity in the 92nd minute to double their lead in the 92nd minute. Layun fought for the ball at the edge of the box and retrieved it to set up Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez in front of the goal. ‘Chicharito’ was unable to set up the ball and he sent the ball flying past an open net.
Mexico had a good showing against a less than spectacular Cameroon team. Collectively the team did well. There were a few stand outs as well. Hector Herrera had a great game, as well as Giovani Dos Santos despite his two disallowed goals. Vazquez had tireless legs and while he may not have his name flashing across reports, he helped the team function and was a great point in the game. There’s definite progress from the team and with two tough games coming up it’s great to see the team moving forward.
Unfortunately for Chicharito, he couldn’t score on a really clear chance and that’s definitely not the first time we’ve seen that situation play out. He did have a great ball during his time on the field that no one was able to get to in front of goal.
The win should have been by a greater margin, and to be fair Mexico did do their part on the goalscoring front. Unfortunately, the referee did have an impact on the score though in the end it’s luck that it didn’t completely change the end result. Though Mexico won and have all three points, those goals may be instrumental at the end of group play. As it stands, Mexico is in second place behind Brazil based on goals scored. Had the two goals from Dos Santos in the first half stood Mexico would have had three goals in favor and none against, sending them to first place.
The next match is against Brazil on June 17. Though Brazil had some flukes, Mexico is capable of doing some damage. They’ll be in the rare position of not being the home team, but there’s also the advantage of not having that pressure added to them.