South Africa-Mexico Analysis

This was a game that Mexico had the chance to grab by the scruff of the neck in the opening 10 minutes but failed to. Mexico as is typical dominated possession but failed to create clear cut chances. In the opening of the game the South Africans were clearly nervous and simply struggled to get hold of the ball. But as Mexico failed to capitalize, the South Africans’ nerves subsided and they began to get themselves in the game. After that a draw was the most likely outcome.

In the second half, Mexico pushed forward but in doing so left themselves exposed to counterattacks. When they had the ball, Mexico would create openings but too often instead of pushing their advantage – such as by getting wide and taking on South Africa’s fullbacks – Mexico would insist on maintaining possession and pass the ball back. This is Mexican football but as a result, Mexico failed to create many clear cut chances.

In fact, the game looked a lot like a US-Mexico game – Mexico dominates possession but fail to create or squander chances. South Africa had two great counter attacks and if their breakout play was more precise they could have had more. When South Africa went up 1-0 it could have easily ended 2-0.

Yet South Africa’s backline, which had looked very shaky on set places throughout the game, allowed Mexico to get even with some shambolic defending.

In the end, both sides should be happy with a draw. For Mexico, hosts don’t lose in World Cup openers and for South Africa they were clearly second best and managed to escape what maybe the most cohesive side in Group A. I think both are well positioned to advance after this result.

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2 Responses

  1. I thought the speed really through Mexico off…once their D got a little tired and South Africa started making runs directly upfield, they got cut to pieces. The goal of course, but also three or four other chances where they looked like they had lead boots on.

    I also thought there were a couple of headers that Franco flubbed that Chicharito would have done better with.

  2. I really do not understand why Bill Bradley is coaching the US team. He stands like the statue of libery stiff like a rock whereas all other coaches shout instruccciones to the players. Worst of all, he never have the hability to make the right changes.

    Today, we were robbed by a stupid referre hire by FIFA. Nobody even knows where on earth is Mali, only a resort country. We were really robbed by FIFA and an idiot old man.

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