Why Giovani Dos Santos Is Under Most Pressure for Mexico After Win with Croatia

Karla Villegas GamaFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2014

Mexico's Javier Hernandez (14) comes into the game for Mexico's Giovani dos Santos (10) during the group A World Cup soccer match between Croatia and Mexico at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Monday, June 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

Giovani dos Santos had a fantastic opening match against Cameroon, but little by little he has been underperforming so much that he barely touched the ball and ran versus Croatia.

Dos Santos was way behind expectations in the last match of Group A.

According to advance stats website Squawka.com, the Villarreal footballer didn't create a single goal opportunity, he sent one cross—which he failed to complete—and didn't shoot at all.

Gio was the fastest player on the pitch, with 32.51 km/h; however, he didn't take advantage of it. He only spent 38 percent of the 64 minutes he was on the pitch fighting in the attacking zone and managed to make 29 sprints, as reported by FIFA.com.

This is something that has been happening game after game.

In front of Cameroon he scored twice, both goals wrongfully disallowed, and received the man-of-the-match award due to his effort, which included 89 percent of pass effectiveness, plus three successful tackles and one goal opportunity created, as per Squawka.com.

The following game, with the host, saw a little less of Dos Santos. He had two shots, 78 percent of pass effectiveness and just two goal opportunities.

Sure, Dos Santos has great technique and can come up with wonder plays, but he takes too long to actually make it happen.

Mexico will have to be fast and lethal in the round of 16 if they want to harm the Netherlands early and control the game.


The bone of contention

Javier Hernandez has come from less to more. He played 19 minutes against Cameroon, in which he won two aerial duels and shot once, according to Squawka.com.

Along came Brazil and Chicharito went into the pitch in the second half too. He improved his pass effectiveness, from 67 percent versus the Indomitable Lions to 75 percent against the host.

FIFA.com's data confirms that Hernandez played the same 19 minutes in which he shot once, covered 2,164 meters and had a top speed of 30.92 km/h.

Against Croatia, Hernandez scored with El Tri again after 366 days. The last time he netted wearing La Verde was at the 2013 Confederations Cup.

Mexico's third goal came from a header by Chicharito, who took advantage of Rafael Marquez's assist. This will be a very important confidence boost for the Manchester United striker.

Coach Miguel Herrera has given Hernandez his trust. He gave him minutes in five warm-ups, proving that he knew that Chicharito could turn things around in the blink of an eye.



Dos Santos needs to step up in this week's training sessions if he wants to keep the starting position. Hernandez will fight hard to leave the bench.

There was one thing Chicharito needed to do to get back on track: scoring. He managed to make it happen, and it couldn't come at a better time.

With the Netherlands clash ahead, coach Herrera should be very happy to see that Hernandez has reconciled with his knack for goal scoring.

Beware, Dos Santos.

All advanced statistics appear courtesy of FEMEXFUT, unless otherwise noted.


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