Goals, excitement, and a place in the last 16 of the World Cup!
Here are some talking points from the clash with Croatia ahead of their crunch game against Holland.
Mexico have qualified – Mexico came second in their group (Brazil came first) and progress to the last 16 of the World Cup! Next for El Tri is playing the Netherlands – one of the strongest teams in the competition thus far. Can Mexico do the unspeakable and knock out Louis van Gaal’s side?
Goals goals goals – Mexico’s first two games were relatively quiet on the goal front – 1-0 victory over Cameroon and a goalless draw against Brazil. But Mexico upped their game against Croatia. The first half saw big chances from both Hererra and Peralta, but there was no outcome until the second half.
Croatia started the second half with a great pace, creating chances within the first few minutes. But it was Mexico who scored first – thanks to Marquez, then Guardado scoring a second just a few minutes later.
Chicharito then scored in the 82nd minute, with Croatia pulling one back five minutes later. The Great Wall of Ochoa kissed goodbye to his clean sheet, but it was not enough to stop El Tri’s progression.
Questionable decisions – I know, there is nothing worse than those who complain that the referee was unfair. But, in the second half, Irmatov should have given a penalty (arguably two) to Mexico.
Hernandez was fouled in Croatia’s box, and there was a clear hand ball. The ref said to play on, and Mexico did not look happy with the decision.
Miguel Hererra – Is there a more loveable manager in the World Cup? I doubt it.
His passion and excitement was almost infectious, and his goal celebrations were second to none.
Ochoa even ran up to hug Hererra to celebrate! Hererra is staying optimistic about the Netherlands fixture, and why shouldn’t he?
Javier Hernandez – Third time lucky, right? In the case of Chicharito, it was.
Hererra named an unchanged side against Croatia, and Hernandez featured again, being brought on for Dos Santos with half an hour left of the game.
Once the little pea was brought on the pitch, everything changed. Mexico scored two goals within minutes of each other, and Chicharito himself ended up on the score sheet. His goal that helped cement Mexico’s win came one year and one day after his last one for his national side.
What did you learn from Mexico during the group stages? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet us @LaFootyettes.