Pre-Match: Mexico vs. Belize

June 20, 2008

Guardado and Vela TrainingMexico is set to face Belize in the second leg of Round 2 in the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers. Although this is early in the qualification process, it’s been a rough and shaky time for many on the Mexican side.

Mexican soccer has been under pressure the last few months for a number of reasons. Hugo Sanchez was ousted as manager shortly after failing to clench a spot with the under-23 squad for the Beijing Olympics. By June 3, Sven-Goran Eriksson was named successor to the chagrin of several key players. Sergio Amaury Ponce and Jose de Jesus Corona were both recently removed from the squad due to injuries, we’ve recently witnessed Oswaldo Sanchez get on the wrong side of the law in Chicago, Gonzalo Pineda is claiming that he won’t be making the move to Atlante from Chivas even though all the higher-ups seem to want the move, and to finish it all off, tomorrow will be Chucho Ramirez‘s final match as manager before passing on the torch to Sven. Once the torch is passed, it’s anyones guess what fate Mexico will face.

But with tomorrow on the mind of most people, perhaps it’s best to leave the speculation of the Eriksson era for another time.

Jorge Vergara, owner of Club Deportivo Guadalajara in Mexico, was rather blunt with his expectations for tomorrow’s match:

“There is still much for the Mexican squad to give, much more. [Chucho Ramirez] has been very inconsistent; the results from the recent friendlies and the 2-0 win against Belize have not been flattering at all…It’s very clear that Chucho is not prepared to be the manager to lead Mexico into the 2010 World Cup…Chucho must first ensure that the squad gives a convincing win against Belize…it is obvious that we must improve considerably. Mexico is superior to Belize in all respects as was evident at the away leg [in Houston], and Mexico must have a crushing win – at least 6-0.

For the Belizians, however, the response was a bit more humble. Belize’s keeper and team captain, Shane Orio commented:

“The team is very excited to play in a country with so much tradition as that of Mexico. We watch Mexican television, Mexican league matches, and many of us dream of being able to play in their stadiums, with their people. [As far as the pressure for Mexico to have a decisive victory] They have wanted to do it since the first match, but we showed that we can play well, organized, and with great attention. We want to win and qualify. It may sound like a dream, but we can not think of anything else.”

While I hope that Belize is able to put on a great performance tomorrow, I see them falling short, but not without forcing great frustration and grief to the Mexican side. I’m predicting a 3-0 win for Mexico.

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One Response to “Pre-Match: Mexico vs. Belize”

  1. Morgan Brown said

    Belize was looking for the win and we could not play defensively like we did in the first leg. We must train more and increase our skills. Best of luck to Mexico in the qualifying rounds to come.

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