Copa America: Five Conclusions from Mexico vs. Ecuador

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By Rafael

1) Mexico have nobody to blame but themselves.

Miguel Herrera’s aim to reach the 2015 Copa America final came to a disappointing end on Friday. Ecuador was always going to be another tough match-up for Mexico, but the way El Tri conceded both of their goals begs to ask some questions. Two bad decisions pulled Mexico’s defensive line into dangerous positions, and Ecuador made Mexico pay for it.

Moreover, there was an air of predictability for the rest of the affair from the Mexican attack, and Miguel Herrera’s men always looked more likely to concede a third than scoring the equalizer.

There was real intrigue from Mexico fans after the 3-3 draw with Chile, but now many were left with a bitter taste in the mouth.

2) Miguel Herrera got it wrong with his lineups.

It was inevitable to question some of Miguel Herrera’s decision-making when building this roster. As a fan there is that recognition that the manager has the right to pick and choose whoever he thinks is appropriate for the team. But that doesn’t mean the fans can’t question his decision-making.

The idea most El Tri fans had of Mexico’s defense and that of Miguel Herrera’s simply never mixed. Even with Mexico playing a “B-team”, Juan Carlos Valenzuela and Julio Cesar Dominguez are hardly what Mexican fans believed to be as quality defenders.

In truth, it almost seemed like common sense not to leave out players like Carlos Salcedo and Luis Montes. For that, Miguel Herrera should undertake all the criticism that comes his way.

3) Some shirts weigh too heavily for Hugo Ayala

It is safe to assume that Hugo Ayala’s name can be added to the long list of players that perform at a high-level at their club but fail to replicate it with their national team.

Ayala at Tigres is an exceptional player. In fact, he is arguably one of the best Mexican defenders of the past few Liga MX seasons. However, at the Mexico national team, he seems to look like a completely different player.

As a tweet in Spanish humoristically put it, “Hugo Ayala at Tigres is Franz Beckenbauer. Hugo Ayala at the Mexico national team is Joel Huiqui.”

4) Copa America now looks like a waste of time for El Tri.

At the end of the day, it will be a ghostly presence from Mexico in this Copa America. Let’s be honest, these three matches will count for nothing.

In 2011, the Copa America was useful for youngsters in the Mexico U-23 team that went on to win the Olympic gold medal a year later. This time around, there was nothing useful from these affairs. The only players under 23 years old were Carlos Salcedo and Jesus “Tecatito” Corona.

5) Now the pressure is really on for Miguel Herrera.

We all expected a Mexico victory on Friday, yet there was something predictable about Mexico’s Copa America demise. Miguel Herrera was reluctant to give guys like Salcedo a chance and his starting XI’s style of play became long-ball and predictable. In addition, Miguel Herrera didn’t make any friends for himself when he called out the referees on live television following Mexico’s 2-1 defeat.

In the Gold Cup, however, there will be no room for these type of mistakes. It is win the Gold Cup or bust.


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About Rafael Diaz

Fan of good futbol. Rafa runs when he is not busy watching Arsenal drop points away to Stoke.