USA vs. Mexico Match Analysis
Mexico hadn't won a World Cup Qualifier against the USMNT in the U.S. since 1972. That's 44 years. And if you ask any Mexican fan what the term 'Dos a Cero' means to them, they might show with one finger. To put it plainly, El Tri has had a thorn in their side and it's painted red, white, and blue.
Coming into the match both teams were desperate to show their dominance over one another; to be kings of the CONCACAF once more. Losing to their border rivals not only means dropping three valuable points but bragging rights that have gone back and forth in the last couple of years.
The match started all Mexico as they dominated play from the first minute. El Tri took advantage of the spaces that the USMNT allowed them in the middle of the park. Jurgen Klinsmann's men seemed to be content giving Mexico the midfield and were in no rush to pressure them off the ball. Mexico were able to build from the back and create dangerous attack after dangerous attack, mainly from the left side, for most of the first half. Soon enough their efforts were rewarded when Miguel Layun found the back of the net after Giovanni Dos Santos robbed Michael Bradley blind in his own defensive third. As the first half came to an end, the USMNT were lucky only to be down 1-0.
The second half was a completely different story. Jurgen Klinsmann changed from a 3-5-2 to a defensive 4-4-2. By anchoring Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones in the middle of the park they were able to reclaim the space Mexico had brilliantly conquered in the first half. USA came out flying and pressured the Mexicans all over the pitch; the space and time they enjoyed in the first half was long gone. This quickly paid dividends when the USMNT pounced on a Mexican turnover and quickly countered to make it 1-1. Throughout the rest of the half USA pressured every Mexican organized attack and forced them to play the punch for punch counter attack game. This suited Klinsmann's men much better and allowed them to minimize Mexico's scoring opportunities and create their own dangerous attacks.
It was obvious that the pace of the match was making the Mexican National Team uncomfortable, and in previous years under previous managers they might have crumbled under the pressure only to let up a late goal and give the stars and stripes the win. However, Juan Carlos Osorio's intellectual and methodical approach to matches proved to have prepared his team for this situation. This manager's cool and collective demeanor reflected in how his team finished the match. They didn't make any silly mistakes, didn't give away any chances, and were patient for the chance. And in the 89th minute Mexico's long standing captain, Rafa Marquez, put away a near post header to end the 44 year winless streak on American soil.
In the following video you’ll find the match analysis. Please enjoy and don’t forget to share it on Twitter and Facebook.
By: David Garcia