Film Focus: Previewing Mexico vs. Portugal After El Tri's First Loss in 7 Months

Karla Villegas GamaFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2014

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 03: The starting eleven of Mexico poses before a match against Bosnia & Herzegovina at Soldier Field on June 3, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Mexico lost their seven-month undefeated streak after a 1-0 defeat to Bosnia June 3. Miguel Herrera experimented with his lineup but it didn't work. Now, El Tri will face Portugal in their last preparation game.

Herrera's side has to cope with Luis Montes' absence, but luckily Jesus Corona and Rafael Marquez have successfully recovered from their injuries.

Marquez suffered a tough blow to his foot, while Francisco Rodriguez accidentally hit Corona on the head.

On the other hand, Portugal are also short. Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t recovered from his knee injury and so he will miss the game

Coach Paulo Bento usually goes with a 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 system, with emphasis in ball possession and runs through the flanks.

Nani and Silvestre Varela can also cut into the box and shoot from close-range, which turns them into real threats.

Mexico will go with its usual 5-3-2, which can put a lot of distress in the back line but that can also provide dynamism and verticality.

But make no mistake; this will probably be the most demanding game for Mexico ahead of the World Cup.



Set pieces are very tricky for El Tri. The defenders don't react as quickly as they should and that gives enough space to the rival to create goal opportunities and even score with certain ease.

In the first corner kick for Bosnia it seemed like El Tri had it figured out.


But seconds after the ball was set in motion they lost focus and left Edin Dzeko alone. 


He eventually shot, Alfredo Talavera rejected the ball and incredibly it landed in Dzeko's boots, however, his second chance went above the goal.


Mexico's defending line is messy. The players don't come out on time and that gives quite an advantage to the rivals who come from behind.


Take a look at Carlos Salcido. He had advantage over the striker but since he is out of shape he was overpowered.


Seven Mexicans stood there looking at what seemed to be an imminent goal. Fortunately, the header was very weak.



Attacking zone

Portugal is strong when it comes down to speed. The wingers are skilled and feed balls easily into the box. This will be a huge task for El Tri. Take a look at some plays from Portugal's friendly against Greece:

Mexico will rely on counter-attacks, which have been pretty effective. In the following play, the defense rejects the ball and the counter-attack starts.

If Oribe Peralta and Giovani dos Santos receive a ball from Hector Herrera, Miguel Layun or Carlos Pena they need to take advantage of Pepe's absence due to injury.