Guyana vs. Mexico: 5 Key Battles to Watch in World Cup Qualifier

Karla Villegas GamaFeatured ColumnistOctober 11, 2012

Guyana vs. Mexico: 5 Key Battles to Watch in World Cup Qualifier

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    Mexico wants to stay as the only undefeated team of the CONCACAF qualifier and to accomplish the feat José Manuel de la Torre has put up a team full of youth and experience.

    Javier Hernández, Andrés Guardado and Héctor Herrera are some of the youngsters that are poised to lead El Tri from now on; while Gerardo Torrado and Sihna hope that their knowledge helps them to stay on the team.

    The BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas, will receive the match, because the Guyana Football Federation decided no to play on home soil—Providence Stadium—in hopes to receive more income; ticket prices go from $70 to $150.

    Historically, Mexico and Guyana have only faced once, last June, with El Tri running out 3-1 winners.

    Can the Golden Jaguars stop Mexico? Or will they stay at the bottom of Group B? Let's find out which players can make a difference for both squads.


Alfredo Talavera vs Shawn Beveney

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    This will only be Alfredo Talavera's 10th cap with El Tri—despite being 30 years old.

    The Toluca goalkeeper wore Mexico's jersey for the first time in 2011 but has only played six times with the team; five of them at the 2011 Gold Cup.

    As has happened before, Talavera will have some action on Friday because Francisco Guillermo Ochoa suffered and injury last weekend while playing with his club, Ajaccio.

    Alfredo has settled as one of the best goalkeepers in the local league but he must be careful with Shawn Beveney.

    The 30-year-old Guayanese striker is the current top scorer of the team. Initially an attacking midfielder that has transformed to a potent forward, Beveney has 22 goals to his account in 41 appearances. 

Héctor Moreno vs Gregory Richardson

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    With Rafael Márquez out of the picture, Héctor Moreno has teamed up with Francisco Rodríguez to take over the central defense.

    Moreno, who currently plays for Spanish Club Espanyol, has been one of the most constant and promising Mexican defenders; on Friday he will try to stop Gregory Richardson.

    In 2009, the Guyanese striker played briefly in the MLS, with the Colorado Rapids, and then he signed with the Carolina RailHalks before leaving the club in 2010 for the Puerto Rico Islanders.

    He has scored nine times in 21 appearances for the "Golden Jaguars".

Andrés Guardado vs Walter Moore

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    Walter Moore will have to do his best to stop Andrés Guardado.

    The Mexican winger has been a regular with Valencia, while Moore has not played in a big league since his professional debut in 2006.

    Guardado is a key piece in Mexico's offense, especially through the left sideline, from where he makes runs and unbalances the rival's defense.

    Furthermore, Andrés has a very respectable long distance shot and with a weak defense like Guyana's he has great chances to score from outside the box.

Javier Aquino vs Ricky Shakes

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    The Cruz Azul midfielder is one of seven players from the Olympic squad that received the cap from José Manuel de la Torre.

    Javier Aquino has already played with El Tri and his skills and ball control talk for themselves. He has a fine touch both for crossing and shooting.

    Ricky Shakes is one of Guyana's best players. At age 27, he has received eight caps and scored twice.

    We are talking about fast players that can change the game with one play.

Javier Hernández vs Charles Pollard

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    Javier Hernández scored with El Tri last month against Costa Rica, which also meant he broke his scoreless streak.

    Chicharito needed 316 minutes to find the rival's net since he did it when Mexico defeated Brazil 2-0 in June.

    Charles Pollard is one of the most experienced defenders of the "Golden Jaguars" having played 33 times. However, at age 38, he is not as physically fit as the Mexican.

    This should be another great chance for Hernández to score and regain some confidence.