Film Focus: Reviewing Mexico vs. Portugal Ahead of El Tri's World Cup Opener

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2014

Mexico showed great improvement in their last preparation game against Portugal; however, they couldn't tip the scale in their favor and lost 1-0.

It was a tough result because in all fairness El Tri played better than Paulo Bento's side, which sealed the deal in three minutes of stoppage time with a Bruno Alves header.

Miguel Herrera has some room for improvement, and with less than a week to go until Mexico's opener against Cameroon, he needs to make the necessary adjustments as soon as possible.

 

Defense

The set pieces keep harming Mexico. The team kept the match in a scoreless draw until injury time.

For starters, Marco Fabian's foul is childish, and he puts his team in danger. At first it seems like the defenders are in good position, but take a look at Alves. No one is covering him.

Then, when the ball is in motion, he runs into the box to a spot that is not covered. The defense is confused and has no idea of what Alves is planning.

In the meantime, Alan Pulido falls down inside the box, Javier Rodriguez is covering nobody and Hector Moreno reacts too late.

Finally, Alves nets one of Portugal’s few goal opportunities.

Here's another play. Mexico's back line is well-planted until Fabio Coentrao finds an open space.

Eder knows he can overpower the defenders, and he goes for it.

Eventually he wins the run and shoots from close range, but Jesus Corona is in good position to save his team.

 

Goalkeeper

There's also the goalkeeper dilemma. Herrera has not decided who will be the starter, and the decision isn't easy. Both players have been atop in the warm-ups.

Corona played in the first half, and although he didn't have a lot of work, he was ready when needed.

Guillermo Ochoa came into the pitch in the second half, and he saved Mexico with this fantastic display of reflexes.

 

Predictable attack

Mexico attack through the sidelines on a regular basis; Miguel Layun and Paul Aguilar are in charge of that task.

When they cannot send a cross in from out wide, the team tries to open spaces through the center of the pitch, but it is basically impossible to finish plays.

Giovani dos Santos wasn't a factor in the first half of the game, leaving Oribe Peralta with few goal opportunities.

Mexico are predictable in the last quarter of the pitch, which hurts the chance to make a difference on the score.

They keep the ball and distribute it in style, but in the end, they don't put the ball away.

 

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