México Actually Wins a Penalty Shootout

Mexican fans you know the routine. In an elimination match, you better hope that El Tri wins in the first 90 minutes or if not then manages to put the match away during the 30 minute overtime, why?

Because as all of us know, Mexican fútbolistas are inept at taking penalty kicks. The memories are many and are painful.

There was the ’86 World Cup quarterfinals when ze Germans bested México 4-1 in a penalty shootout. While it’s easy to blame then Mexican goalie, Pablo Larios, let’s keep in mind that his teammates couldn’t beat the German keeper. [Let’s not even mention Hugo Sanchez’ annulled goal, grrrrrr]

Then there was the ’94 World Cup Round of 16 against Bulgaria. Even though, yes Mexican keeper Jorge Campos (below right) could have better lived up to the hype his ridiculous jersey’s generated, his teammates wilted at the 11-meter dot and couldn’t buy a penalty kick. The Bulgarian keeper was the Germans and my countrymen’s penalty takers were the French.
Jorge Campos

On a lesser scale there was the harrowing loss to the hated Argentines in the 2005 Confederations Cup. In that case, my countrymen made their kicks only to have national team luminary Ricardo Osorio miss a sudden death penalty kick.

My point with all this historical hash is that my countrymen have shown an iniquitous ineptitude to execute penalty kicks and/or block them. What do you expect when your goalies’ height haven’t even come close to 6′? (This is slowly changing)

All that changed last night when my native land’s 11 bested Costa Rica in a penalty shootout in the Gold Cup Semifinal.

The frustrated/jubilant thoughts of a Mexican after the jump…

Once again, I’m ashamed at the behavior of my countrymen in the stands. Why throw stuff at the opposing players? It’s ridiculous and embarrassing, you’re making the rest of us look bad.

On to the match…

It shouldn’t have gone to a penalty shootout. Noted Lastrow whipping boy, Miguel Sabah, missed a, wait for it, penalty kick in the 57th minute. My 3-year old boy can kick harder than Sabah chose to kick that ball. If Miguel’s performance doesn’t convince Aguirre that he’s not worthy of a starting spot, I don’t know what will.

I’ll say it again, midfielder Giovanni Dos Santos is by far, México’s best player. Every time this kid touches the ball, something special is going to happen. He’s simply electrifying and the way he scored on his penalty kick shows that he knows what to do with the ball in those situations.

México’s back line continues to be plagued by mental lapses. After El Guille Franco puts México ahead late, late in the match (88th minute), the back line decides to give up the tying score in stoppage time. Juan Valenzuela, the defender on that play, had a brain fart and allowed the Tican forward, Ledezma, to slip past him and light up a hapless Memo Ochoa.

Valenzuela’s defensive effort reminded this Longhorn fan of Earl Thomas’ efforts against Michael Crabtree last season on the play that might have cost UT entry into the National Championship Game. Valenzuela, like Thomas, took an angle “that made Euclid weep.”

Speaking of Memo Ochoa, the jheri-curled Mexican goalkeeper finally lived up, somewhat, to the hype by stopping Ledezma’s penalty kick. He paved the way for Carlitos Vela to seal the deal by scoring México’s 5th and decisive penalty kick.

I do wonder what was going through the mind of Costa Rican keeper Keylor Navas every time he kicks the ball and 50,000+ Mexican fans all call him P*to in unison.

I also wonder what Costa Rican fans think of Univision’s coverage when the play-by-play man and the color guy are both Mexicans and do very little to hide their homerism. Still, I love those guys, arguably the most entertaining duo to call fútbol here in the states.

The final on Sunday against Team USA should be a doozy, may the best squad win.

Here are the match highlights:

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2 Responses to México Actually Wins a Penalty Shootout

  1. bobbygee says:

    Mexico should have won in regulation. A last minute defensive lapse all most killed them. USA-Mexico should be a barn burner.
    http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

  2. Samuel says:

    Muito bom o site, gostaria de propor uma troca de links como parceiros, meu site é o http://www.futebolforum.co.cc , valeu.

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