Farewell game in the USA, a complete waste

The match between Mexico and Wales left a bitter aftertaste for audiences on both sides

Farewell game in the USA, a complete waste
Jesús Manuel Corona's performance in the game was exceptional - Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 29/05/2018 14:07 Gerardo Velázquez de León Mexico City “Merits of the case” is an Opinion Sports Editorial by Gerardo Velázquez de León Actualizada 16:40

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It was nothing more than a tempest in a teapot, the audiences paid to see a training session, nothing more than a pick up game in front of the TV cameras. Now, Juan Carlos Osorio only has two games left before the World Cup. As for the game between the teams of Mexico and Wales, there’s not much to talk about, except that it dusted off some of Mexico’s top players. Perhaps now they realize that the World Cup is as close as the final decision for the list of the 23 players of Mexico’s National Team.

The game left a bitter aftertaste for audiences on both sides, even Mexican fans (all 70,000 of them), who usually cheer for their team under any circumstance, ended up booing them in the middle of the Rose Bowl game. Mexico’s national team trained comfortably against Wales, with no resistance from their rivals, except for a few flashes of competence from a team that has been perceived as dysfunctional. Though, of course, audiences must understand that most of the starting players that will be facing Germany weren’t at the game.

Juan Carlos Osorio had little doubts in the elaboration of the official list. If any positions opened, it has been due to injured players. This is a rough time for many people right before the World Cup, and original plans have been destabilized. The good news is that Andrés Guardado was seen fully recovered from his recent operation, jogging on the field before the game began.

The dominion of ball control was overwhelming, but as is always the case with Mexico’s national team, its capacity to define game tactics was null. It was significant to see Héctor Herrera and Jesús Manuel Corona, as it was to see Edson Álvarez as a center midfield instead of a wide midfield, where he had been relegated as Gallardo once was. The overall impression was that the game had the potential to be so much more than it was, but it turned out to be a waste.

Giovani Dos Santos only played for 22 minutes. His performance was inconsequential, as it has been on his last season playing with Los Angeles Galaxy F.C. which has kept him on the injured list, with no chance of proving himself again. The team hasn’t trusted him enough, and he hasn’t been able to justify his place on the preliminary list. To make matters worse, in the last few days it has been said that Dos Santos was never injured in the first place, and was only being careful, since the month of January, not to suffer an injury that could leave him out of the World Cup.

A few minutes after entering the field, Dos Santos had a clear shot when facing the Welsh goalie and wasted it completely, proving that what Osorio had said last Friday was true: Dos Santos is the all-star who never was. Since he hasn’t been playing, his game is completely off-balance, and this could leave him out of the World Cup. What is worse is that, even if he made the official list and went to Russia, no one expects him to be a key player for Mexico’s national team anymore.

The main problem was the defense. The lack of coordination and communication was evident. Néstor Araujo’s injury represented an opportunity for Hugo Ayala and Oswaldo Alanís, but neither of them has shown the confidence needed to replace a man who had been of vital importance to the coach’s tactics. On yesterday’s game, Osorio even improvised positions so that some players could spend a few minutes playing, without necessarily contributing to winning the game.

English version by David Morales