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Glorious day for Mexico : Beats the ‘Scratch du Plata’ to take home the gold


Mexico exceeded all expectations.  Mexico beat all critics.  Mexico, I am glad to say, is an Olympic gold medalist.  It was very difficult game for the Tri who played in their half of the field for a good majority of the game.  That tactical scheme however, lead to the best game this team has played under coach Luis Fernando Tena.  I made a score prediction earlier this week that Brazil would come out victorious with a 3-2 victory, but I am glad to say that I was mistaken because Mexico beat my analysis.

Source: Flickr - gen giblerwas

Check out the game analysis here.

What did Mexico do to win?  It is not only that they played a wonderful defensive game, or that the midfield was superb at generating pressure at all parts of the field which prevented players like Neymar to play freely, and it was not only that Peralta played in top form and created extraordinary counter-attacks along Marco Fabian.  This team won because they played like a ‘team’.  While Brazil is a top-class team filled with world class players who get sold to Europe at ridiculous prices (Lucas Moura per say), this Mexican squad has played together for over a year.  This is a team which only had Giovani Dos Santos playing in Europe, while the rest are regular starters in the Liga MX.  Mexico won because of their fortitude as a team; these players were not individualistic, nor were they selfish.

A moment that saw the disunity in the Brazilian squad was by the end of the game when defender Juan wrongly got rid of the ball after being pressured by Fabian.  After losing the ball, teammate Rafael, a big Manchester United prospect, started an ugly argument in the middle of the pitch with Juan.  To me, that is representative of why Mexico won and Brazil lost.  Brazil did not seem united as a ‘team’; they got to the final because of their overwhelming talent, but a true team like that, with so many all-stars, would have had no problem taking the gold.

Mexico has now won a handful of meaningful youth silverware since the 2005 U-17 World Cup victory in which Giovani Dos Santos led.  Since, the tricolor obtained 2 Gold Cups, another U-17 World Cup, a third place in the U-20 World Cup, a gold in the 2011 Guadalajara Panamerican Games, the Pre-Olympic Tournament, Toulon Tournamet, and now, the 2012 London Olympics.  What Mexico’s youth has achieved is no easy task, and no other nation has had as much success in youth levels in recent years. In other words, Mexico is a giant in the lower levels of world soccer.  Now, this needs to translate into a senior level where the quarterfinals in the next 2014 Brazil World Cup would be a great achievement.

For now though, I am glad Peralta had the game of his career, I am convinced that the best ‘team’ won the gold, and I am excited of what can come in the future for Mexico.  Brazil failed and will have to conform by being the new ‘Scratch du Plata’, and congratulations to a team and country which deserves this gold.




  1. A) Completely right. The Mexican league is up there with the Brasileirao in salaries; add that to the high quality of the game, and you have owners like Jorge Vergara who demand high exportation fees. Reason why we see so many Colombians and Argentinians in the Liga MX and in regular European teams because they have low costs.
    B) I have no knowledge in this sector but I suppose the working visas for the Mexican player is the same for any other country. Therefore, I do not think this is a factor in the exportation process.
    C) Why is Mexican exportation of players so low? You said the first one- high salaries and high transfer fees. But there is one more thing; the Mexican player/country is still not prestigious in a worldwide scale as it is for Brazilians and Argentinians. Mexican soccer is very tactical and technical, but it is rare to see a playmaker like Neymar. This is why I think Mexicans are not regularly shipped to Europe. Wages, and most importantly, Mexican soccer is not seen as outstanding as South Americans. If we keep going like this though, the world will look this way more often.

  2. Speaking of exportation, do you agree with the following syllogism?

    A) Mexico’s domestic league pays fairly well, thus the team owners (and possibly the players as well) demand a high price for their product
    B) There seems to be a higher degree of complication securing the necessary work visas for Mexican players as compared to other latin american countries
    C)Therefore, Mexico’s exportation percentage is low compared to other latin american countries

    Mexico, especially within the last decade seem quite talent-laden, and yet a small percentage of their players arrive at the Vatican of futbol (Europe). I would also add that the “possession” style of play to which most Mexicans are accustomed to playing does not merge well in the EPL for instance. What do you think?

  3. Tony,
    Oh yes. Definitely mentality was the key to Mexico’s victory. For 89 minutes the Tri was on task, they did not seem tired, they did not play differently, nor did they make any serious mistakes. While Brazil has players that can win the mano-a-mano, Mexico filled any gaps on that field. and you have a very good point there, I also do not think that Mexico will export any of these players any time soon; one if lucky. Honestly, sometimes it is better to keep them at home where it is sure they will play, but who knows a Hector Moreno could arise.
    Thank you

  4. Kevin,

    I noticed that several of the hand-to-hand combat (or mano-a-mano may be more appropriate in this case) encounters were not easily won by the “overwhelmingly” talented Brazilian stars. Brazilian brilliance was clearly on display in some of these encounters (Marcelo vs Herrera), but I was definitley impressed with Mexico’s tenacity, and of course, the skill of this lowly band of Liga MX gallivanters. I also believe that the psychological contest was won by Mexico, to me, they were playing as if they couldn’t lose-because in realtiy this was actually the case. Brazil revealed several stress fractures that only worsened as the clock ran out. I’m not expecting many European visa’s though, the stock of these merry gallivanters just split and Im sure that Liga MX will give the Euroean clubs quite the “sticker schock”! That said, Que Viva Mexico!!!


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