Mexico found itself unable to crack the American defense yet again and left the field in Columbus with yet another 2-0 defeat in a windy, boisterous and very entertaining game. There was no doubt that the US was the better team tonight. They were crisper, seemed more dangerous on the ball, and cashed in their chances. The midfield duo of Bradley and Klejstan did a great job of managing the game and definitely outshined their counterparts in green. Mexico starts another hexagonal campaign with an uphill battle, and it does not get any easier as Costa Rica and Honduras loom.
SGE made a tactical decision to use the long ball tonight, which was a puzzling choice considering they have absolutely no height advantage and the heavy wind played a major factor the entire night. It also disconnected the midfield from the front line, which completely disappeared when Nery Castillo left the game with a bum hammy a half hour in.
Giovani Dos Santos played well tonight, but will undoubtedly receive a boatload of criticism for not finishing Mexico’s two clearest chances. The second one also led to a straight red for Rafa Marquez for his foul on Tim Howard.
So now Mexico faces an uncertain future with their coach, and a crisis of confidence with the players. It would not be a surprise of SGE is showed the door, but that wouldn’t really solve anything. It is the Mexican MO, after all.
While Mexico has been busy popping their shirts and proclaiming how good they are to anyone who would listen, their compatriots in CONCACAF continue to improve. The US has proven time and time again that they are a more than just a worthy adversary. Costa Rica and Honduras get their chance next month.
We have a coach around here in Austin who is has been on the business end of losing to his team’s main rival more often than he would like. He always stresses to his players “don’t let that game beat you twice.” In his eleven years here, they haven’t. Mexico will have a chance to redeem itself next month in the cozy surroundings of Azteca. With or without the Swede. I am going to say with. I can't imagine Televisa is ready to plunk down another huge contract buyout.
The US, on the other hand, starts their campaign in terrific fashion and heads to El Salvador with three solid points in their pocket. They were the better team and deserved the win tonight. They are the better team right now.