Mexico and Chile will play each other to determine which team goes through to the next round on Saturday. Costa Rica and Guinea lost on Friday, which meant that the winner of this game would go through to at least as a one of the four best third-placed teams (and in Mexico’s case, they can even finish second in the group). In case of a tie, Mexico would also go through, while Chile is eliminated.
Mexico, heavily favored before the start of the tournament, will need to improve a lot and finally show their promise against the weakest team of the group. Chile has already lost both games played and have failed to score a goal, while getting scored seven times (four times by England, three by Iraq). Yet they might get a boost in knowing that a win would put them through when before it looked like they were coming in to this game already eliminated. Diego Lainez and company will have to be careful, especially since so far they have failed to have a consistent level of play, more specifically in the first half of play.
Mexico was expected to be a candidate to win the tournament but so far have failed to live up to those expectations. They started with a tie against Iraq in a game where they struggled defensively all game and didn't turn up offensively until the second. Their game against England had them as the inferior team all game as they went down 3-0. Lainez, Mexico's star player, took control of the game and scored twice to lead a comeback that fell short. Still, even if they have only played well in flashes, Mexico has shown the potential to increase their level of play. Two of their star players, Roberto de la Rosa and Jairo Torres, have yet to show the talent that people know they have, even if De la Rosa scored against Iraq. Should they wake up, the team can become the offensive powerhouse they proved to be in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers.
They will face a Chile team who they know, as they played each other in the Torneo de Naciones earlier this year. Mexico defeated Chile 3-1 in that game as they went on to win the tournament. Still, it's different at a World Cup, in a game that is life and death for both teams. But Mexico should be favored if they get to finally click to their level before the competition.
Date: Saturday October 14
Time: 7:30 AM Pacific, 9:30 AM Central, 10:30 AM Eastern
Venue: Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati, India
Television: Telemundo (US-Spanish), TDN (Mexico), Azteca 7 (Mexico), Canal 13 (Chile), Mega (Chile), TVN (Chile)
Listings via LiveSoccerTV.com.