Mexico vs. Jamaica: Embarrassing Draw Is Bad Sign for El Tri
A matchup with Jamaica was supposed to be easy points for Mexico in World Cup qualifying, but a scoreless draw ended up being the result and it's an embarrassing finish for El Tri.
Mexico had the privilege of starting its quest for World Cup qualification at home in Azteca stadium, which is one of the most feared places to play on the planet. Jamaica wasn't supposed to come in and play Mexico so tight, but that's exactly what happened.
El Tri squandered several chances on net and despite 13 total shots in this match, only five of them found their target. Against some of the better teams in qualifying, Mexico must take advantage of every chance they get or else defeat will be unavoidable.
To start the match, Mexico came out flat and didn't look like its normally aggressive self. A change of formation from the usual 4-2-3-1 to the use of two forwards will be rightfully questioned as it was a puzzling move to begin with.
The normal 4-2-3-1 formation has proven to be successful in the past and such a drastic change in an important match such as this was a major risk at best.
Adding to his list of mind-boggling moves, Jose Manuel de la Torre removed arguably the team's No. 1 catalyst on offense, Giovani dos Santos, less than midway through the match for Javier Aquino.
Aquino is a nice player, but at a time when this team was struggling to find the back of the net, Dos Santos' presence on the field was a must.
Mexico's manager has some explaining to do in regards to the changes he made. We all know that if it isn't broken, don't fix it, but de la Torre clearly didn't get that memo.
Quite frankly, Chepo's irresponsibility in the handling of his team is troubling and should create concern for what potential moves he could make in the future for Mexico. Apparently common sense doesn't factor in to de la Torre's game plan and that makes him unpredictable.
The Reggae Boyz had a golden opportunity to take the lead on a few occasions, but luckily for El Tri, they weren't able to capitalize on their chances. Jamaica deserved to win this game based on effort and Mexico was fortunate to leave Azteca stadium with a tie.
What was the main reason Mexico lost this match?
Jamaica's successful result against Mexico no doubt exposed El Tri's major weakness in the physicality department. Opposing defenses will now know that in order to beat Mexico and slow them down, you have to be physical on the defensive side of the ball.
Motivation is another thing that could be seen as worrisome for this team. Mexico didn't come out with their best stuff on Wednesday night and it showed. It remains to be seen if the formation change was responsible for that or if El Tri took the Reggae Boyz lightly.
If El Tri hopes to have more success moving forward, they must go back to what worked for them in the past. Most importantly, it's time for de la Torre to get out of the way and let his team play the best way it knows how.
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