Mexico came very close to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals, but two late goals from the Netherlands eliminated El Tri from the tournament, losing 2-1. The Mexicans would have been without full-back Paul Aguilar for their quarter-final match against the winner of Greece v Costa Rica had they progressed.
As shared by ESPN FC's Tom Marshall, the defender would have suspended following his yellow card against the Netherlands Sunday, his second of the tournament:
Paul Aguilar yellow card. Would miss a potential quarterfinal.— Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup) June 29, 2014
Playing in Mexico's 3-5-2, Aguilar is responsible for nearly all of the wide play on El Tri's right wing. Losing him severely limits the team's options moving forward, as there are few players in all of football capable of running the length of the pitch for 90 minutes like he can.
MashableLive has the GIF of the foul leading to the yellow card, and it truly was an avoidable one:
Aguilar had to play the rest of the match already sitting on a yellow, and the Dutch steadily pushed the pace out wide throughout the match.
Miguel Layun would have been the most likely replacement for Aguilar should the team have overcome the Dutch. Layun has the versatility to play on both wings, though he lacks the defensive solidity Aguilar brings to the table.
ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan was sorry to see the player booked, as he has truly enjoyed a great tournament so far:
Aguilar booked for silly foul & misses next game. Pity for Mexico [if they go through] as he's been excellent all way thru tournament.— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) June 29, 2014
Layun was excellent on the left wing during the match against the Netherlands, doing a good job against the relatively inexperienced Paul Verhaegh. Should he have been shifted to the right, Carlos Salcido would have been a likely candidate to slide into the full-back spot on the left side.