Mexico’s U17 splits a point with Socceroos

Mexico can't capitalize on chances

Disappointing draw for Mexico against Joeys

Mexico’s encore performance much more sobering for squad, coach, and fans. With the draw Mexico has virtually guaranteed control of their own destiny, a possible rematch of the 2013 U17 looms large.

The Mexican coach Arteaga remarked “Australia knew our style of play and how to stop us.” Hoping to outflank them, he made 3 critical changes which appeared to deliver in the opening minutes. The first was swapping winger Magaña with central midfielder Lopez. The second was swapping the backline of 3, which hand seen off the Argentine strikers, to a backline of 4 where the Mexican backs seemed less comfortable. The third, and which allowed the squad down under to approximate Mexico’s possession of the ball advantage, final tally of 48% to Mexico’s 52%,  in allowing the Mexican squad to be stretched vertically.

Mario Arteaga might be questioning his adjustments to this game as having the Mexican defense sitting in their own half of the field while punting 50/50 balls to striker Aguirre against 3 defenders led to Australia enjoying more possession with plenty of time and space to pick out a pass. The success against Argentina was in part due to the advancing of lines allowing quick combinations and rotating of positions, Total Futbol with a jalapeño flavor.

With 20 goal attempts, and 0 goals to show for it, there is no question the Mexican strikers will be wondering if they’d be able to hit the side of el burro on this day. Their best chance coming in the first half as the striker Aguirre hit the goalpost. Arteaga commented, “we were unlucky in the first half, when we had good chances.”

Unlucky in the first half and superb keeping in the second half. The Australians might be wondering if the Mexicans had Superman or Abraham Coronero, LA Galaxy Academy Prospect, under the sticks. As he snuffed out their best chance of the night off a direct free kick. Earning himself a fan in Australian coach Vidmar, “the Mexican goalkeeper had a remarkable match.”

The Australian squad may still qualify and relished the opportunity to face an Argentine squad that is down and probably out, “We kept our options of qualifying open and now it’s in our hands.” Australia will be looking to keep the number of cards they draw to a minimum as FIFA has introduced a Fair Play Points system, which serves as a tiebreaker, for advancing into the knockout stages.

Noting that the light is not out, door has not closed, jello has not jiggled and the butter isn’t hard, Arteaga offered these final thoughts “in the end, it’s a fair result, and it’s not bad because we have one more point.” Not bad. Not good either, if they continue playing poorly.

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