World Cup Qualifier: Mexico defends its turf

Isreal Castro scored a very impressive goal v. the US on 12 August 2009

Isreal Castro scored a very impressive goal v. the US on 12 August 2009

To its credit, Mexico defended its home turf today, defeating the United States 2-1 in World Cup Qualifying.

To his credit, Bob Bradley took my advice and attacked early. He got the goal he wanted but the United States couldn’t hold the lead.

To their credit, the Mexican attackers did their job: holding possession and creating chances, using their home-field advantage, especially the altitude, to the fullest extent. I was impressed with Andrés Guardado, who backed up his pre-match words (sorta), and Giovani dos Santos, who built on his Gold Cup performance. Surely the Tottenham bosses have noticed now.

The first half was very entertaining with 2 good goals. I liked how the US played because they did what they had to do: go for the early goal. And they got it. Sadly, 10 minutes later they got beat by an outstanding shot which showed me that Mexico didn’t abandon their gameplan. That was a key moment.

The second half was less impressive. Fatigue set in and wise substitutions by Javier Aguirre set Miguel Sabah up to score Mexico’s second goal, a strike made by Juárez’s excellent run past Landon Donovan. All in all, it was an impressive performance by the home side.

Quick notes: the refereeing was awful again: it lacked consistency, which showed, again, that CONCACAF referees aren’t very good … the coverage by Mun2 was good for a first effort; relentlessly promoting their programs was par for the course but very annoying in the end.

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