Oribe Peralta has been an undisputed starter since Miguel Herrera took over the team. However, his least impressive performance came against Brazil.
Numbers don't lie
Advanced statistics website WhoScored.com gave Peralta the lowest rating of the match, a 6.0 as a result of 79 percent pass accuracy, 31 touches, three fouls and one dribble won.
Squawka.com, another specialized statistics website, put El Hermoso's pass effectiveness at 77 percent, with only once chance created, one interception and one successful take on.
FIFA.com also shared some stats. Of Mexico's outfield players, Peralta was the starter who covered less distance, with a total of 6,893 meters; the team average was 8,803 meters.
Peralta went through a rough patch during Mexico's warm-ups.
He played against South Korea, Nigeria, Israel, Ecuador and Portugal; his record was far from impressive, as he only scored once against South Korea's B-team, back in January.
But El Hermoso silenced his critics in El Tri's opening match in front of Cameroon. He scored the winner after the referee wrongfully disallowed two goals from Giovani dos Santos' boots.
It seemed like Peralta was back on track, especially because he has been through a scoring drought before.
He did it during the 2012 Summer Olympics, where he scored until the last match of the group stage, but then netted again in the semifinal and final games.
Mexico can qualify for the knockout stage with a draw against Croatia, but up until now, the team hasn't settled.
Peralta needs to score soon. First of all, Herrera has other options for that position—Javier Hernandez, Raul Jimenez and Alan Pulido. Secondly, the goal difference will be key in determining which team will secure the first place of the group.
Now, let's think ahead. It's possible that Mexico face Netherlands, Spain or Chile in the round of 16; all of them have strong defensive lines. Therefore, El Tri will have to take advantage of every goal opportunity they create.
Peralta needs to be better than ever, focused and committed. He is the kind of player who doesn't give up, and it is time to prove it.
Mexico's No. 19 probably will not have another chance to play a World Cup. He is a late bloomer, a 30-year-old who has given his country hope, who has established himself as one of the most lethal strikers of the Liga MX and a fan favorite.
Herrera might trust him, but it's time to make a difference and show why he has been one of the manager's top picks.
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