Mexico wins in Columbus! A huge deal, big deal or business as usual?
Columbus, OH: The Mexican National team has broken the 2-0 curse of World Cup Qualifier losses to the US in Columbus Ohio. Note that Mexico has beat the US as recent as last year, on US soil. There are reports of 44 years since Mexico has beat the US in the US. That is not correct of course. To be specific it is Columbus.
To be even more specific the record over the last 44 years vs the USMNT in WCQs, in the US, is 1-5-1. So it is not as if they played 44 games and US won every single one of them in World Cup Qualifiers.
Let’s focus on the point of this post! After the game many Mexico fans were very happy. Including myself. After many dos a cero chants, this was a very welcome change of the scoreline. However, I did note that after the game as the Mexican team congratulated themselves on the pitch, they started jumping as they celebrated. The jumping you see after winning a tournament or after a big game to qualify for something big.
There was no reason to jump and celebrate for this particular win. Sure it was a big win, but not a huge win. It has actually been a failure to have 4, 2-0 losses in a row. This righted the ship, it didn’t transcend some huge feat in the world of Soccer. It is cringeworthy to see Mexican players celebrate in such a manner.
Another reason to not celebrate too much but keep a level head is, the fact that many say Jurgen Klinsmann made a huge mistake with his starting formation of a 3-4-3 in the first half. A lineup that proved to be greatly advantageous to Mexico in the first half, as they possessed and were dangerous through most of it. The score could have easily been 3-0 at halftime, but finishing was lacking and only 1 goal was scored. A deflected shot by Layun. So even with a Jurgen gaffe Osorio could only get 1 goal.
Then in the 2nd half, Jurgen changed back to the 4-4-2 and advantage went back to the US. The US possessed, attacked and scored 1 goal during the 2nd half to tie the game. This occurred for much of the 2nd half and Osorio could not come up with a tactic change or some plan to recover control of the game. Chucky coming in brought some good speed on the counter, which almost led to a goal by Chicharito. The US was dangerous and Osorio didn’t have the answer.
The Rafa goal came off a set piece and Mexico won. The tradition is usually the USMNT scoring on set pieces because of lack of “in the run of play” type goals and technical skill.
Another consideration, the weather was not super freezing as in other instances of this game. The Mexican team came in fully loaded with every european player. Osorio did have to deal with an injured Guardado and decided to start a Hector Herrera who hasn’t played well at Porto and did horrible in the 2nd half.
While this is a good win for Mexico, we all need to be level headed. A huge challenge is on the way in Panama, which could be an even harder game. Critical press statements shouldn’t be taken so sensitively by Mexican players such as Chicharito, but their true skill demonstrated on Tuesday night in Panama.
This Columbus win is a big deal! Not a huge deal or business as usual, but an important win to show respect for the US and what they have done since Bruce Arenas decided to play there.