9 years after Mexico received its first males’s soccer gold medal, El Tri appears prefer it has what it takes to make one other run on the high of the Olympic podium. The Mexican facet confirmed it’s able to contend, opening its 2021 Olympic event with a convincing 4-1 win over France, one of many pre-tournament favorites.
The Mexicans have been higher than France in each sector of the sector and it was mirrored within the scoreline due to 4 second-half targets by 4 completely different scorers: Alexis Vega, Sebastian Cordova, Uriel Antuna and Eduardo Aguirre.
“We’re a gifted group,” goalkeeper and captain Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa mentioned, “gamers with a variety of high quality, with starvation to win, to shine and to transcend. Mix this with gamers who’ve performed for the senior nationwide group, and it reveals when you must make choices in a recreation like this — a sort out, a go or a shot. And as we speak we did rather well.”
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There was little or no to not like in Mexico’s efficiency, which confirmed few weaknesses and illustrated all the explanations they are going to problem for the Olympic title as soon as once more:
Gamebreakers in inexperienced
France might have had the massive title on the sector in ahead Andre-Pierre Gignac, however Mexico’s attackers have been those that at all times appeared like they might resolve the sport. And all of them did.
Vega on the left and fellow winger Diego Lainez on the best have been electrical with the ball at their toes, taking up defenders one-on-one and going straight at purpose. And each time they went on the French protection, they triggered havoc. With teammate Henry Martin dutifully fulfilling the middle ahead position, Vega and Lainez had a prepared companion who occupied defenders and opened up area for them.
Vega appears like he is in the perfect type of his profession, and when he performs with the form of hearth he confirmed in opposition to France, he’s arduous to comprise. In the meantime, Lainez was the brightest participant on the sector and created the primary purpose on one among his a number of penetrating runs into the field. His stylish cutback cross served up an inviting ball that Vega burst into the field to move house.
In the event you embody attacking midfielder Cordova on this attacking combine — he confirmed his soccer IQ on his well-taken purpose within the field — it’s simple to know why all these gamers are already a part of the senior Mexican nationwide group setup beneath head coach Gerardo “El Tata” Martino.
Mexico is deep
You already know issues are actually clicking when two gamers come off the bench and additionally rating. Mexico Olympic coach Jaime Lozano was rewarded for his determination to carry on attacking reinforcements regardless of holding a lead. On got here proper winger Antuna (72nd minute) and heart ahead Eduardo Aguirre (88th minute) they usually helped seal the deal.
Antuna’s pace will likely be an actual weapon off the bench on this event. He used it to good impact on Mexico’s third purpose when he got here on for Lainez. First he backed up his defender after which lower inside earlier than firing a low, pushed shot off the submit. It got here with 10 minutes remaining and helped put the sport out of France’s attain.
And Aguirre is a much less skilled model of Henry Martin, with arguably a greater nostril for purpose. He confirmed it on his strike, Mexico’s fourth, driving the ball from a good angle previous the goalkeeper on the close to submit. Count on him to get the beginning in one of many group video games to provide Martin a breather forward of the single-elimination knockout rounds.
No weak hyperlinks on protection both
If it wasn’t sufficient that Mexico had the perfect attacking expertise on the sector, the gamers on the again line additionally outshined their opponents.
Proper again Jorge Sanchez is multi-million greenback switch materials with the mix of vary, energy and pace. France hardly ever bothered attacking down his flank.
Though it positively helped that that they had expertise taking part in in opposition to Gignac in Mexico’s Liga MX, the middle backs — Cesar “Cachorro” Montes and Johan Vasquez — have been in management. The one actual misstep was the Montes lapse in judgment on the slide sort out in his personal field that led to France’s penalty purpose.
Romo is the glue man
His title doesn’t present up within the field rating this time, however central midfielder Luis Romo is an important participant on this Mexico group. La Liga membership Getafe was making a switch push for him, however his Mexican membership Cruz Azul has reportedly rejected it they usually would possibly be capable of get recent bidders if there’s a deep Olympic run in retailer for Mexico.
Romo is seemingly all over the place on the sector, and it’s as a result of he has such an incredible really feel for the sport. He brings a steadiness to his group, supporting the assault or defending the again line, and no matter he selects is usually the best determination. Plus, he runs for 2 gamers, making him an enormous presence on the sector.
Mexico’s a well-oiled machine
The gamers know one another properly, thanks partially to earlier camps beneath senior Mexico supervisor Tata Martino. That familiarity was evident in opposition to France, a group that was solely assembled for this event and can by no means play collectively once more.
Mexico was the cohesive facet and it confirmed of their passing and the way they ran off one another, particularly in transition. All of the gamers have clear roles they usually play them properly. For instance, left again Erick Aguirre was a stay-at-home defender and didn’t overextend himself on the attacking facet, particularly with Sanchez marauding down the best. And that labored out simply effective.
This spirit was most evident within the moments after their targets, when the Mexicans despatched a message to France that they wouldn’t be letting them again within the recreation: El Tri knocked the ball round with character, retaining it away from the French. It was a flex transfer by a group that’s conscious it’s good.
Mexico has the look of a whole group — they’ll rating, they’ll defend they usually can handle and management video games. Exterior of Brazil, there doesn’t appear to be one other nation that they need to be petrified of the remainder of the way in which, particularly the way in which El Tri dealt with France.