Category Archives: Mexico

The Goals That Won the Copa – Last Night’s Highlights

We can argue endlessly about which were the Copa’s best goals, but these are the ones that counted the most in the end:

Brazil 3-0 Argentina: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2a1NZzbCBTQ&mode=related&search=

And here are the goals from the 3rd place play-off:

Uruguay 1-3 Mexico:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6hiLuZNUpM

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Mexico beat Uruguay 3-1 To Finish 3rd

Mexico came from a goal down to clinch third place in the Copa America for the third time after they beat 10-man Uruguay 3-1 in Caracas this evening.

Abreu opened the scoring for Uruguay in the 21st minute but Mexico equalised when Blanco scored from the spot in the 35th minute as Uruguay were reduced to 10 men with Lugano given his marching orders for the penalty incident.

Los Charrúas held out for a further half hour but Omar Bravo and Guardado scored mid way through the half to wrap the game up for the Tri. It was the first game of the tournament staged in the capital Caracas, which lost the right to hold one of the semi-finals because of “security concerns” over the Olympic stadium.

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The Five Reasons Mexico Is Going For A Sorry Hat-trick

Today’s game against Uruguay will see Mexico trying to win the third place play-off for the third time, having won one of the most dispiriting games in football already in 1997 and 1999.

Mexico’s El Universal goes over the five reasons why the Tri ended up once again in tonight’s game and not tomorrow’s final:

1.

The inclusion of Oswaldo Sánchez in goal, who was gravely at fault for the first Argentina goal and caught out for the second.

2.

Guardado’s shot off the post in the 34th minute of the 1st half. Just 10 minutes before Argentina’s goal, had this gone in it could have changed the course of the game.

3.

The taking off of Torrado and Cacho at half-time. The team were 1-0 down but they had a stability that was lost with the withdrawal of these two players.

4.

The entrance of Medina and Omar Bravo. The latter leaves much to be desired while the former was involved in the disastrous Gold Cup and didn’t do enough to justify his inclusion in the squad.

5.

The injury to Nery Castillo. He was on from the start but he was still absent.

Mexico came into the Copa in disarray with coach Hugo Sánchez under pressure after the disastrous showing in the Gold Cup and Sánchez showed up pleading for patience from his critics in the media. The rancor was quickly forgotten when Mexico beat Brazil in their opener and and went on to top their group and stroll to the semi-finals.

But of the five reasons El Universal cites above for the defeat to Argentina – all mentioned elsewhere in the Mexican press – three are direct criticisms of Sánchez’s tactics and it looks like the pressure is now back on the coach.

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Still Bitter, Uruguay Prepare For 3rd Place Play-Off

Uruguay face Mexico this evening in Caracas in the 3rd place play-off still bitter about their elimination by Brazil in a penalty shoot-out in the semi-final.

Uruguayans claim they were let down by the refereeing on Tuesday night which should have ordered their final penalty kick be retaken as Brazil’s Doni was several strides off his line. Doni saved the spot kick of Uruguay’s captain Diego Lugano to dump out Uruguay.

Now the president of the Uruguayan Football Association Dr. José Luis Corbo has sent a letter to the refereeing committee of CONMEBOL, the region’s federation, demanding that Tuesday’s referee, Colombian Oscar Ruiz, no longer officiate any games involving Uruguay or Uruguayan club sides.

Uruguayan football officials say that Tuesday night was not the first time that Ruiz had prejudiced their sides and that they are within their right in making the request.

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The Copa’s Best 11?

It has been a cracking tournament and a very open and attacking antidote to the cautious sterility of the World Cup last summer. So cheers to all 12 teams for making a go of it. But who are the tournament’s best players? Here’s our best 11. We’d be interested in hearing your thoughts:

GK: Ochoa (Mexico)

Very unlucky to be dropped in favour of Sánchez after some fine performances in the earlier games especially his brilliant performance against Brazil. Now that game is remembered for Castillo’s opener and a limp showing from Brazil. But if Ochoa had not been on top of his game it could all have been remembered somewhat differently.

Defence: Zanetti (Argentina) -Lugano (Uruguay) – Juan (Brazil) – Gilberto (Brazil)

Argentina’s central defence has not been properly tested yet and we suspect Ayala is vulnerable to pace. Lugano is more mobile and despite being younger has mastered the dark arts of his position. For us Juan has been Brazil’s most consistent performer for several years now. He is also a leader on the pitch and when you look at the price Barcelona paid for Milito we believe Roma have done a very clever bit of business here.

There have been no great left-backs in this tournament but Gilberto has tried to inject some attacking intent into a conservative Brazil. Zanetti is one of several Argentines enjoying a wonderful swansong. Safe, consistent but eager to get involved further up the pitch.

Midfield: Torrado (Mexico) – Mascherano (Argentina) – Cristian Rodriguez (Uruguay)

At times Mascherano has looked like he could play in a midfield of one behind an attack of five. He is, as La Nacion put it, an octopus and lion all in one. But we put him alongside Mexico’s Torrado because Torrado deserves his place and they will provide the platform for the more attack minded players we surround them with to get forward. One of these is Cristian Rodriguez on the left who tormented Brazil in the second half of the semi-final.

The No. 10: Riquelme (Argentina)

Not much more to say really. For us the tournament’s best player, the creative force of its best team and already has five goals of his own. He is a joy – and endlessly fascinating – to watch. A pity this type of player is increasingly a rarity in football these days.

Strikers: Messi (Argentina) – Robinho (Brazil)

Castillo came close in getting a place here but he did not do enough over all of Mexico’s five games and was unlucky to be hindered by injury in the last of them. On the other hand Robinho has almost single-handedly got Brazil into the final, scoring six goals along the way. His dive against Ecuador was a stain but without his sparkle you suspect Dunga’s men would already be on holiday. Messi pushes Riquelme close in the vote for best player overall. He has sublime close control aided by a centre of gravity that might defy the laws of physics, great speed and the happy habit of scoring some beautiful goals.

Coach: Coco Basile

Has got his stars working in harmony for the greater good and has made wise use of his subs to swing tight games his way. He has not been stubborn when it has come to rethinking his plans as in the way he overcame his desire for a more traditional target man when it became clear that Diego Milito did not deserve to keep out Tevez (another close candidate for our starting 11).

Maybe not surprisingly all our players come from the semi-finalists, the tournament’s four best teams. Several of the Ecuadorean squad impressed but their fragility told against them. They did after all lose all their games. Countrywise our team is made up of:

Argentina – 4
Brazil – 3
Mexico – 2
Uruguay – 2

So what are your thoughts? Comments please!

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Filed under Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela

Today’s Headlines

“Messico 86: The Maradona of the 21st century scores one for his anthology: the genius of Messi, the class of Riquelme (penalty a lá Zidane), even Heinze scored a golazo! We thrash Mexico 3-0 and now the final of the Copa is with Brazil” – Olé of Argentina reports last night’s win with characteristic restraint

“Hugo gets his tactics wrong and serves up the game” – El Universal of Mexico on coach Hugo Sánchez’s decision to take off Gerardo Torrado and Juan Carlos Cacho when 0-1 down. “We lost the middle of the field and became marooned in attack.”

“Basile: What Messi did was the work of a genius” – Infobae of Argentina

” A team with a special aura” – La Nacion of Argentina

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Messi Wondergoal & The Rest Of Last Night’s Action

Messi’s Golazo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fegJUGRLI9w
(For technical ability Chile’s Suazo might argue that his goal against Brazil was better but his was a consolation prize in a game long dead. Messi did this to seal a place in the final.)

Full Match Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uy_Qt8Co-MM

Three more goals last night to add to the four Brazil and Uruguay served up to make it a grand total of seven in total for the semis. This confirms it has been one very attack minded and highly entertaining tournament, and we get a Brazil-Argentina match-up in the final. After the ultimately unsatisfying experience of the last World Cup many footie fans will feel we needed this!

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