Showing only short spurts of continuity, Mexico came back to best Ghana 2-1 at Craven Cottage. Mexico looked expectedly disjointed, but mustered up enough plays to get win over a spirited African squad.
We now focus our attention to next Monday when the corrupt greed mongers that run Mexican footy will decide whether or not Hugo Sanchez will remain as the coach of the National Team. I have argued before that Hugo is to be axed, then they had better have a plan to install some with markedly better credentials than the run of the mill Mexican League coach they will invariably appoint, and then fire six months later. But before Hugowatch 08 continues, back to Craven Cottage.
Mexico started the game with 7 of its european contingent, and it almost paid off immediately. Antonio de Nigris fired off a Nery Castillo service that was paried by the Ghanan keeper 20 seconds into the match. A lot of the players were playing together for the first time, so it was understandable to see a lack of cohesion.
The feel good story of the night was the return of Aaron Galindo, who looked very solid on the back line. The Bundesliga regular consistently diffused the African attack. It is good to have you back, Aaron.
Despiting controling the run of play, Ghana got on the scoreboard first when Michael Essien fired off a superb 30 yarder that negotiated two defenders, Oswaldo Sanchez at full stretch, and inside the far post. Essien proved over and over why he is one of the world's great midfielders. I am not a Chelsea fan per se, but the blues are very lucky to have him. A truly great player.
Despite Essien's heroics, it was his back pass to keeper Dauda Fatau that led to Mexico's first goal. Carlos Salcido never gave up on the play, and he took advantage of a terrible play the goalie to hammer home the equalizer. Mexico took the lead thanks to the persistence of Andres Guardado, who pressured John Mensah into giving away the ball, which guardado then passed to Bofo Bautista. Bofo then was taken down in the box, and got the penalty. Pavel Pardo dealt with the formalites, and Mexico took the game.
So now it is back to Hugowatch. If there is one thing we learned from this game, is that you have to keep fighting and keep fighting. You cannot give up. Carlos Salcido didn't give up. Andres Guardado didn't give up. Their relentless pursuit netted Mexico a win. It is a lesson that the FEMEXFUT should take to heart.
How often does a team give up on a coach after a few losses? Where else in the world does it happen? What league has a higher coach turnover than Mexico? How many coaches rent instead of buy? Why is firing the coach always the answer. If FEMEXFUT wants to fire Hugo, they better have a solid contingency plan in place. The only way that can happen is if they snag a proven winner who has succeeded at the highest level on the international stage. A coach who would relish the opportunity to coach a good team that has some talent, but doesn't quite have enough of the chemistry to turn enough good moments into great moments.
If they just pick some schlub from the heap to replace another, why bother?