The Mexico vs Japan Confederations Cup match will be held on June 22, 2013 at 12 PM Pacific in Belo Horiznte at the beautiful Estadio Mineirao. Mexico and Japan lost both their matches against Brazil and Italy, and have been eliminated from the tournament. This match has nothing more riding on it that pride and honor.
Although both teams lost both of their matches, they have done so in very different ways. Japan has lost while attempting to display beautiful soccer (well, in the Italy game at least), succumbing against Italy by a score of 4-3. Japan attacked constantly, and at one point had the Italians against the ropes, only to lose due to several mistakes by its defense.
On the other side of the pitch, Mexico has also lost both its games, but it has done so in a spectacularly unspectacular fashion. No heart, no grit, no pride, simply defending for 90 minutes like so many rivals have done to Mexico in the CONCACAF qualifiers. This style of play resulted in 2 losses, where Mexico rarely created scoring opportunities (the lone goal coming via penalty), 4 goals allowed, and general discontent among El Tri fans.
Mexico played the matches against Brazil and Italy with fear. A mindset that we all believed Mexico had grown out of in the past decade. In the major tournaments that Mexico disputed in the last 10 years, El Tri always looked as though it could beat any team on any given day. Playing its own style no matter who was in front of them. Under Chepo de la Torre’s reign, it appears Mexico has devolved into a small team incapable of even dominating CONCACAF.
The Mexico vs Japan match will (unfortunately) not be Chepo’s last game as Mexico’s head coach. The Mexican FA has confirmed that he will remain for the rest of the Summer. Chepo’s true test will come against Honduras in September. With that knowledge in hand, Chepo has decided to use an alternate squad against the Japanese. In true Chepo style, he will use the match against the Blue Samurai to test out new players, I guess 2 years on the job hasn’t been long enough to find a starting formation…
Mexico vs Japan Prediction
With nothing at stake, and alternate players on the pitch, I believe Chepo will finally open up his formation a bit to allow for a more attacking style. The Japanese are unlikely to change the attacking formation they demonstrated against Italy. Expect a high scoring game with plenty of scoring opportunities and little defense.
The Mexico vs Japan match will end in a 3-2 victory for the Blue Samurai. The Japanese have already shown that they can score against even the best defenses in the World. A demoralized, alternate Mexican squad playing for nothing, will not be able to come up with a single point in this edition of the Confederations Cup.
Mexico vs Japan Live Television
The Mexico vs Japan match will be televised on ESPN News and Univision this Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 12 PM Pacific.