Three things we learned from Mexico’s semi-final defeat
Mexico defeated 4-1 by Germany in Confed Cup semi-final
*El Tri *were 2-0 down within eight minutes
Fabian, Ochoa and coach Osorio knows lessons must be learned
By Martin Langer with Mexico
History once again got the better of Mexico as they fell to a punishing 4-1 defeat to Germany in Thursday’s semi-final. Though the scoreline was a little harsh on El Tri, there is no doubting the fact that Die Mannschaft were worthy winners.
Disappointing as the result was, the Mexicans are keeping things in perspective. After all, their main objective is the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. And with that goal in mind, they will now look to learn from the experience to avoid making the same mistakes on the biggest stage of all next year.
We look at three things Mexico can do to raise their game.
1: Focus from the kick-off Mexico have fallen behind in all four of their matches at Russia 2017 so far. On this occasion they were 2-0 down after only eight minutes, with both goals stemming from avoidable errors that the Germans capitalised on. El Tri came back in each of their previous games, but on this occasion there was to be no revival against superior opposition.
The words: *“We need to be switched on right from the start, especially when we’re up against big teams like Germany, who make the most of any situation and put their chances away.”* Mexico midfielder Marco Fabian
The stat: Two of Germany’s first three shots on goal ended up in the back of the net.
2: Be more clinical in front of goal Recovering from Germany’s two early strikes, Mexico enjoyed a 30-minute period where they played their best football of the tournament, with Giovani dos Santos, his brother Jonathan and Javier Hernandez all having chances to pull a goal back. None of them were taken, however. Even more opportunities came El Tri’s way in the second half, though they only had Marco Fabian’s spectacular drive to show for their efforts, underlining the fact that they need to sharpen up their finishing.
The words: *“I think Germany deserved the win but not by such a big margin.”* Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio
The stat: Mexico had 25 shots on goal, a high for Russia 2017, though only nine of them were on target.
3: Find solutions to the same old problems Osorio said before the match that his side would take the game to Germany, and they were true to his word. The only problem was that in adopting an enterprising approach, the Mexicans left themselves wide open to their rival’s counter punches. In their previous matches at Russia 2017, Mexico looked vulnerable when losing possession in midfield and also struggled to counter the high press, a problem they were ultimately unable to find a solution to.
The words: *“We tried to press, be aggressive and brave, but when you go for it you often give the opposition a lot of space to exploit. And Germany have got good players who can really hurt you in situations like that.” * Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa
The stat: Mexico had 58% of possession against Germany and as much as 62% in the first half.