Mexico showed the world that they have the talent to play with anyone, beating France 2-0. In the meantime, the curse of Zinedine Zidane continues to haunt France, as they have failed to score a goal in the World Cup since the 2006 Final.
by Justin Mertes-Mistretta
In the first half, both teams were in an all-out attack-mode, making for an exciting, fast-paced match. Mexico’s Carlos Vela showed why he doesn’t get much playing time for Arsenal by missing a wide-open opportunity 8 minutes into the game. Vela’s shot almost left the stadium. All he needed to do was send it across the goal, as two teammates were seating there with no defenders in front of them. Lucky for Vela, this was early in the game and it wouldn’t be the last chance Mexico would get.
Both teams shared goal-scoring opportunities, but at halftime, only two shots were on target (one for each team).
The second half was completely dominated by Mexico and their super-subs.
Mexico coach Javier Aguirre made it clear that he was going for the win. In the 55th minute, he subbed in forward Javier Hernandez for midfielder Efrain Juarezhis, providing Mexico with a much needed scoring-spark. In the 64th minute, Hernandez gave Manchester United fans something to look forward to, nonchalantly scoring on a breakaway, to give Mexico the 1-0 lead. 21-year old, Hernandez, scored his eighth goal in only his 14th appearance for the Mexican national team.
Dr. Evil, a.k.a. Franck Ribery for France, went on numerous runs but his teammates were unable to set him up for scoring opportunities. Overall, France just looked sloppy and lacked team chemistry.
When Cuauhtemoc Blanco was substituted into the game for Mexico, the crowd cheered as if it had been announced that the President was attending the match. Blanco lived up to the applause by scoring on a free-kick less than 20 minutes after being put into the game. At age 37, He became the third oldest player in World Cup history to score a goal.
His penalty-kick ended French hopes for the game and possibly in the 2010 World Cup overall. France has been a complete disappointment thus far, but it’s not like we didn’t see it coming after the French limped in with their “handball victory” over Ireland.
Mexico on the other hand looks to continue their 24 year streak of advancing through the group stage. However, this year could be the year that Mexico makes some noise in the round of 16 and beyond. Giovani Dos Santos and Javier Hernandez are starting to make a name for themselves in this World Cup.
With no team sticking out as the favorites, don’t be surprised if this young, but talented team makes a run for the whole thing.
Read more articles by Justin Mertes-Mistretta at https://www.percysperspective.com/Follow paulmbanks