Mexico vs. Jamaica: El Tri Shouldn't Be Satisfied with Sloppy Victory
Anytime you can secure three points away from home in a World Cup qualifier, you have to consider it a success.
As such, we'll just have to call Mexico's 1-0 victory over Jamaica in Kingston on Tuesday night a markedly underwhelming success.
That's not to say there aren't positives to be taken away from El Tri's crucial win.
Goalkeeper Jesus Corona put forth a world-class effort. If he wasn't there for some spectacular saves down the stretch in the second, we assuredly would be looking at a different result.
And if he wasn't the man of the match, it was undoubtedly Carlos Salcido. Playing in his new left back role, the veteran excelled, providing solid defense, dangerous runs down the sideline, and inviting crosses seemingly the entire 90 minutes.
Throw in the stellar performance from captain Maza Rodriguez, and Jose Manuel de la Torre has to feel generally encouraged with his team's defensive performance.
Moreover, it's difficult to be crestfallen with World Cup projections like this, made by ESPN's Paul Carr:
Big road win last night puts Mexico at top of SPI's CONCACAF standings: pic.twitter.com/Bhh1lTlfvp— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) June 5, 2013
Unfortunately, the increasingly concerning theme—the one that had been evident in Mexico's six-game winless streak prior to Tuesday's victory—was once again palpable against Jamaica.
How would you grade Mexico's overall team performance?
That theme would be El Tri's inconsistent attack and poor execution in the final third.
Manchester United's Javier Hernandez had arguably the worst game of his career in a Mexico shirt. He disappeared for stretches of the game and when he did get involved, he failed to take advantage of a glorious opportunity in the 84th minute.
But Chicharito has been brilliant enough times to know that the disappointing performance was nothing more than an anomaly.
It was perhaps more frustrating to watch Mexico's attack behind him and fail to link up consistently or provide an abundance of opportunities when forced down the sideline:
Jamaica taking page from #USMNT tactics vs. Mexico: Give them the flanks. Dare them to beat you with crosses.— Simon Borg (@SimonBorg) June 5, 2013
With the exception of Aldo de Nigris, El Tri's attack was once again far from where it needs to be.
Despite sitting atop the current CONCACAF table, Mexico now has an anemic three goals in four Round 4 matches and just six goals in the last seven contests overall.
Mexico is a tremendously talented squad with the firepower to make some noise in Brazil next year, but Wednesday's victory—which ironically was pivotal in advancing them to Brazil—proved once again that de la Torre's bunch still has massive room for improvement.
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