México: The World Cup’s Broken Record
June 27, 2010 2 Comments
Once again, México fails to advance to the quarterfinals in a World Cup held outside of its borders. Like in Germany 2006, Argentina booted them out of South Africa 2010 and depriving my homeland of participating in that most elusive of contests for them, a fifth World Cup match. In fact, here’s what I posted after that match back in ’06,
Another World Cup away from Mexican soil, another early exit in the 2nd round by the Mexican team. This time it was at the hands of the Argentines, who should have won at the end of regulation if it hadn’t been for that bad call on Messi’s offside.
Go in peace, Mexico, and hold your heads high, you went toe-to-toe with one of this Cup’s favorites. To my countrymen’s credit, they had their best game yesterday, if only they had played at this level during the first round, they might have won their group.
I will say this, the officiating by the Swiss ref was atrocious. He gave el Kaiser an unmerited yellow card and let the Args get away with murder without giving them cards. Most notable was the non-call on the dude who rolled over Zinha, and not giving the automatic red on the Arg who took out Kikin as he had a clear path to goal (the whole last man rule).
My consolation in all this is that if El Tri would have gone on and faced Germany, they would have gotten creamed. After all, the winner of the ARG-MEX game is fodder for the host team.
LaVolpe’s decisions regarding personnel were real head scratchers. Franco didn’t even play yesterday, he’s a much better playmaker than Borghetti (who can’t create). Guardado had the game of his life, too bad he didn’t see action during the first round. If LaVolpe gets the ax, it will probably be because of his personnel decisions.
To my Che friends, congrats on a solid win, but ze Germans will steam roll ‘el albiceleste.’
Germany 4 Argentina 0 (yeah I’m bitter…)
Let’s see, some similarities to today’s affair:
- No quarterfinals for Mexico once again.
- The refereeing today was atrocious. Assistant ref Stefano Ayroldi (below getting an earful, Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) gave Argentina their first goal when he didn’t notice that Carlos Tevez was offside by at least the lenght of 2 gaucho knives.
- Different coach this time (Javier Aguirre) but his decisions were equally head-scratching. Starting the last man picked for the World Cup roster, Adolfo “El Bofo” Bautista, in the biggest match of this tournament is inexplicable. Back then Guillermo Franco was the better choice over an aging Jared Borghetti. Today, Pablo Barrera, who gave the Argentinians fits, should have gotten the nod over El Bofo instead of coming in as a sub
- Had México triumphed today, the elation would have been short-lived since a sickeningly dangerous German squad awaits in the quarterfinals. A German squad that taught England a graduate course in counterattacking. As Tom Clancy wrote in Red Storm Rising that no one presses the counterattack “better than the Krauts””.
- Aguirre’s personnel decisions will cost him his job as coach of the Mexican National Team
Interesting how history repeats itself, how Aguirre didn’t learn from LaVolpe’s mistakes or even his own mistakes back in the 2002 World Cup.
The main difference between ’06 and what happened today is that in ’06, El Tri actually had a shot to beat Argentina. Today? Not so much. Which is why this loss didn’t shake me to the core as much as Team USA’s loss did yesterday. Team USA had a real shot to do something special but came up short.
Another reason why this loss wasn’t as crushing is what I wrote here,
Thus, I shall enjoy watching El Tri get out of the first round only to get eliminated by giving a world-power all they can handle before succumbing to historical inevitability.
True, this time around they didn’t give Argentina all they could handle. There was never any doubt Argentina was going to win this match and once again play the record that all of us Mexicans get to hear every 4 years: México exits the World Cup in the Round of 16.
Despite what happened to El Tri in South Africa, I will always support the team that represents the country of my birth. I know it’s a fool’s errand but here’s hoping that in Brazil 2014, we won’t get to hear this same tired record again.