Mexico will face a tough task, in which they will be severe underdogs when they face Japan in the first of the Semifinals of the 2019 Toulon Tournament. Mexico, who finished in second place in the 2018 edition of the tournament, barely qualified to the knockout stage in what most people see as the easiest group, as they finished as the best second place team of all 3 groups. Japan, on the other hand, will come in as one of the tournament sensations after winning Group A, including a 6-1 trashing of Chile. Although Japan lost their last game against Portugal, which meant they finished with one points less than Mexico, they went to that final game with a place in the knockout rounds assured, unlike Mexico who needed a win to go through and barely beat China by a 1-0 score.
Mexico’s participation in the 2019 Toulon Tournament has been somewhat disappointing. Then again, after Mexico’s failure in the U-20 World Cup (where they lost all 3 games) and after getting rocked by a 5-1 scoreline in a preparation friendly against the Netherlands, to make it to the Semifinals might seem like a positive.
Mexico has failed to create much offensively with only three goals scored, and defensively, they have yet to be tested by a team like Japan, which has scored almost three times as many goals as Mexico has. It’s exactly why Mexico will have their work cut out. Not to mention, time is also a negative as Japan should have two more days extra of rest than Mexico. Even worse, coach Jaime Lozano has made the same mistake as former coach Marco Antonio Ruiz and has failed to rotate the squad in all three matches. This will not help a team that physically was already at a disadvantage because of scheduling.
Mexico has a lot of things against them and it will be up to Lozano to see if he can be able to have his team face this challenge.
Date: Wednesday, June 12
Time: 6:00am Pacific, 8:00am Central, 9:00am Eastern
Venue: Stade de Lattre-de-Tassigny, Aubagne, France
TV: beIN SPORTS USA en Español (US-Español), beIN SPORTS USA (US-English)
Listings via LiveSoccerTV.com