Mexico has fought its way to 2nd in Group A, sitting with Brazil at 4 points. Come Monday, Mexico will face 3rd in the Group, Croatia, in a do or die match.
Croatia is coming off a 4-0 thrashing of Cameroon. However, the scoreline is a bit deceptive to the eye, as Cameroon gave up three goals after Song received a red-card in the first half.
Brazil is all but through to the knockouts, which means its a battle for the round of 16 between Mexico and Croatia. It makes things a little bit easier for Mexico as they only need a tie to advance, and Croatia must win to advance. Though don’t think for a second that Piojo as instilled a “lets just tie” mentality into the minds of El Tri.
Croatia is a very talented side, especially with Mandzukic returning. Yet, they do lack speed and condition in the defense. During the match against Cameroon, the Croatians were doing their best to find breaks in the match, and Recife doesn’t project cool and calm weather. It will be muggy and hard on the endurance, which should favor Mexico.
It should also be noted that Croatia has been making some fairly overconfident comments heading into the match. Modric claimed that Mexico is not at the level of Croatia, and that Ochoa is not as good as people are claiming.
The manager of Croatia has also made statements saying that Mexico has been figured out, and that they should claim the three points without problem.
Big words have been said, but on Monday, it all goes down on the pitch. This is the time when Mexico can show that they aren’t here by accident.