The Mexico vs Japan match ended with a 2-1 victory for Mexico, but it started off looking as though El Tri would add another loss to its sorry participation in the Confederations Cup. The first half was dominated by the Blue Samurai, which attacked and created scoring opportunities almost at will. It was luck and several Japanese misses that allowed the score to remain 0-0 going into halftime.
Once again, Mexico’s issues in the first half were caused by a lack of scoring opportunities. Mexico attacked with 4 or 5 men at most, making the movements very predictable and easy to defend for the Japanese. When Guardado or Dos Santos did manage to get a cross in, they only had Chicharito inside the box, who was usually marked by 2 men. Simply put, Mexico had another Chepo-era ineffective first half.
The second half of the Mexico vs Japan game was a huge improvement for El Tri. More players were pushing forward on the attack; Mier and Torres Nilo joined the attack on the flanks, allowing Guardado and Dos Santos more space to roam. Mexico was generating plenty of scoring opportunities, and was finally able to break the tie in the 54th minute with a Chicharito goal.
Mexico kept control of the match, and added to the score in the 66th minute with Chicharito’s second goal of the day: a header scored off a corner kick. Around the 75th minute mark, Mexico relaxed and fell back, allowing Japan control of the ball. The Blue Samurai took advantage of the opportunity and pushed forward, finally scoring a goal in the 86th minute via Okazaki.
The last 10 minutes of the Mexico vs Japan match (ref gave 5 minutes of injury time) were tremendous, as Japan pushed forward with everything. There were several close calls for the Mexicans, but they were able to halt all Japanese opportunities. In the 92nd minute, during a counterattack, Chicharito was dropped inside the box and given a penalty.
Chicharito stepped up to attempt to go for the hat-trick, and instead ended up having the penalty stopped by Kawashima, and then blasting the rebound off the crossbar. Nonetheless, Mexico held off Japan for the last 5 minutes of the match and ended up with the 2-1 victory.
Although Mexico was already eliminated coming into this match, this win should provide a big boost in morale to a team that has struggled all year. With Chepo de la Torre confirmed to stay at least until the next qualifying games, it was important for him to get a win. Does Chepo deserve to stay, even with the Mexico vs Japan win? I say no, but the FEMEXFUT has decided that the September qualifying match against Honduras will be his last chance.
Enjoy more Mexico vs Japan 2-1 Highlights
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