Mexico vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina: What Went Wrong for El Tri and How to Fix It

Karla Villegas GamaFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2014

Jun 3, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA;  Mexico forward Andres Guardado (18) and Bosnia and Herzegovina defender Ognjen Vranjes (6) go for the ball during the second half at Soldier Field. Bosnia and Herzegovina defeated Mexico 1-0. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from the 1-0 loss to Bosnia, Mexico hadn't played so bad since April—when the United States overpowered them in the first half of their friendly match.

It is true coach Miguel Herrera told the Mexican media before the clash against Ecuador he would experiment in the preparation games, as reported by Spanish language website, but it has been too much already.

For starters, he played Carlos Salcido as a centre-back rather than at left-back, his natural position.

Salcido may be one of the most experienced footballers on the team but he cannot start a game in Brazil, in large part because he's out of shape.

Another issue is El Piojo has trusted players who lack experience with the national team, like Jose Juan Vazquez—he took over the center of the pitch and was completely lost.

Furthermore, 22-year-old striker Raul Jimenez has made quite an impact with Club America but in all fairness he has yet to show the same level with El Tri.

Hierarchy should not be a factor when it comes to picking a starting XI. The fact Javier Hernandez plays for Manchester United does not mean he's the best option for the attacking zone.

Aside from the individual problems, Herrera's side lacks communication. The team has absolutely no idea what to do when they have the ball, other than passing it.

Mexico are a fast and vertical squad but they still can't finish plays inside the box. There is no clear strategy other than to run and counter-attack whenever possible.

Some players, like Miguel Layun and Hector Herrera, realized it wouldn't be easy to break Bosnia's defense by passing the ball or sending crosses into the box so they started taking chances with long-distance shots.

On the bright side, Layun and Herrera proved their ready to tackle next week's challenge against Cameroon.



El Tri shot eight times, three on target and one to the post. They had 101 incorrect passes (21 percent), 14 from Chicharito's boots, 12 from Miguel Angle Ponce and eight more from Salcido.

Jimenez not only spent most of his time around the midfield—an odd position for a striker—he didn't shoot even once. The same oddities happened with Giovani dos Santos and Alan Pulido.

Vazquez only recovered four balls, despite playing as a central midfielder. He completed 37 passes, none of them to the box.

Layun received 48 passes, more than any other player on the team. He was also the top sender, with 46.


What's next?

Herrera needs to appoint a starting XI soon. It's incredible Mexico are still playing with an experimental lineup when the World Cup is days away.

Sure, the coach needed to make some adjustments at the last minute as a result of Luis Montes's injury and Rafael Marquez's blow to the foot, but we are talking about two players not about the whole lineup.

Bosnia gave fans and media a reality check. Israel and Ecuador were some sort of warm-up, while the Europeans gave Mexico a serious headache.

Next Friday, when El Tri face Portugal, El Piojo better use those who will play at Arena das Dunas against the Indomitable Lions or prepare himself to see an unarticulated, messy squad yet again.


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