It was by no means a perfect goodbye, as Mexico played their last game in front of their U.S. based fans with a scoreless draw against Wales. Here are three takeaways from the game.
As “moleros” go, this one was your typical lack of emotion encounter,in which coach Juan Carlos Osorio opted to play a lot of his second-string guys. Not too disrespect Wales, but from the start, this had the feeling of an entertainer looking to gather his/her paycheck and just leave. Of course, we all know by now the Mexico national team is a cash-grabbing machine, and really, who can blame the organizers? But as oppose to Mexico’s farewell game at the Azteca in a few days, there was very little symbolism behind this game, just a lot of money being thrown around. Call me a romantic, but this game was suppose to be a motivator, highlighting a team representing people from both sides of the border. Instead, we got a whole lot of nothing. Unless you paid an extra $10 for the public training. That’s pretty cool.
Mexico probably deserved more
As for an actual analysis of the game, there were a few good moments for El Tri, and all in all, they were the better team. It wasn’t a high quality encounter by any means, but Wales did provide an interesting challenge, a team that regularly permutated at the back and defended well. Perhaps they just needed a bit more quality in front (Gareth Bale?), given that they really didn’t have a clear goal-scoring opportunity across 90 minutes.
On the other hand, Mexico was on top in almost every statistical category except goals. They created chances, and some players like Erick Gutierrez even made their case as to why they should be included in the final 23-man roster.
Defense will get better vows Juan Carlos Osorio
At the end of the game, coach Juan Carlos Osorio vowed that his defense will improve once all his injured players are back to 100%. Mexico’s next game is on Saturday against Scotland, and the hope is Diego Reyes and Hector Moreno will finally be available. Defense has been one of the number one concerns for Mexico in recent World Cups, and this one will be no different, especially considering Mexico’s best defender, Nestor Araujo, will miss the tournament through injury. Although Mexico did not concede against Wales, this was essentially Mexico’s second string defense. The problem is the clock is ticking, and there is a very short window to get into full-match fitness ahead of the big game against Germany.