Chile Spicer Than Mexico Expected…
by Luis Eduardo Flores
Wow…just wow. In a packed Levi’s Stadium, two conference kingpins were set to do battle. We expected a match of epic proportions…one that would go down in Copa America history as one the best matches. Instead, millions witnessed the defending champions sweep the field with an over-hyped opponent.
There is no way to sugarcoat it. Chile dismantled Mexico in every aspect. The Mexican offense consisted of four cotton balls trying break down a steel wall. On the opposite side, Chile’s offense dribbled pass practice cones wearing Mexican jerseys.
There were so many errors committed by Osorio, it seemed like this was the first time that he coached the team. The performance by the players themselves was like that of your local boys soccer team.
Edson Puch scored the first goal of the match at the 16th minute mark. Solid goal, well deserved. 28 minutes later, Vargas got Chile’s 2nd goal of the match…but it wasn’t his last.
The 1st half ended with Chile leading in every way possible; by score, statistically, mentally, and tactically. A comeback was possible, yet not likely; based off how Mexico was playing.
The team of Alexis Sanchez, Vargas, Puch, and Vidal pressed the Mexican defense like no other team has done in recent history. Not even the Netherlands were this much of a threat to Mexico at the World Cup.
Right after Mexico had announced it’s subs for the 2nd half, that was when the defeat was unavoidable.
12 minutes into the 2nd half and Chile scored another three goals; one by Sanchez (49’) and two by Vargas (52’ and 57’). Now Mexico had to score five goals to have a chance at winning. At that pace, it wasn’t happening. Miguel Layun, Hector Moreno, Nestor Araujo, Paul Aguilar were near nonexistent to point in which you forgot that they were part of the starting line-up. Memo Ochoa did his best to hold the fort…but the “Great Wall of Ochoa” was exposed and easily crumbled.
By that point, there was a lack of creativity and no real effort by the Mexican side to seek the consolation goal. Andres Guardado was reckless and Jesus Duenas looked lost. Hector Herrera, Jesus Corona, and Hirving Lozano were forced to play more defense than offense. Javier Hernandez was alone seated outside of Chile’s box. Seriously, the dream was dead and the nightmare did not stop. Vargas scored his 4th and final goal of the match at the 74th minute. For safe measures, Puch scored the last goal of the match 13 minutes later.
Chile’s midfield and defense was nowhere near being forced to bring out their best. Barcelona’s Claudio Bravo was a spectator in this match that had plenty of time to fetch some snacks. He only had to get off the bench once.
The ref’s whistle was a relief for the Mexican team, as they left the pitch torn of all pride and walking away with shame as a consolation prize.
To conclude, Mexico’s tongue was lit on fire, as Chile’s spice was too much for the broken CONCACAF team. An unwanted chapter has been written into Mexico’s history book. This was their biggest loss in a major tournament and their biggest loss since May 1961 to England (0-8). Even before the end of the match, Mexico became the joke of the Internet, especially to the USMNT took to Twitter to troll after the match. Osorio’s exit seems to be in the horizon. Only the federation knows.
Chile is already tasting championship gold, as only Colombia stands in their way of the final. James Rodriguez and his Colombian teammates have a lot worry about, as they know that Chile means business.
Photo: @ussoccer, USA Today