Friday, June 13, 2014

How Mexico beat Cameroon 1-0: 2014 Fifa World Cup

Mexico faced and beat Cameroon 1-0 in a match played under dreadful conditions. The bodies took a beating in the rain and the heavy clothing usually designed to be lightweight under extreme conditions. The ball naturally sucks some water and becomes heavy, skids off the surface and becomes tricky to manipulate. The socks get wet and water fills the boots and the feet are slippery inside the socks and boots. The vision would be greatly affected, as well as judgement of the speed and flight of the ball.

As for the actual match, the atrocious decision-making by Cameroon on going forward, especially the attacking third, was a glaring disappointment. The Africans played a 1-5-3-1-1 while Mexico were on a fluid 1-3-5-2. The Mexico midfield brushed aside the Cameroonians, who were outnumbered and generally very weak in midfield, with some relative ease.

There was the obvious lack communication, the bad decision-making, poor concentration, exposure at the wings and overall bad defensive behaviour by Cameroon. They played too flat and very square, surviving many scares by the swift-moving Mexico forwards who were passing precisely and moving fluently to good attacking positions. With a few ounces of luck, patience and clinical finishing, they could have wrapped the match earlier in the first half. Their transition was swifter and relevant to keep Cameroon at bay.  

The goal came from the right midfield after, again, a series of errors. Quick inter-passing founded on the acres of spaces and lack of pressure on the ball and poor marking were complimented the long distances of support and wrong angles of support at the defence of Cameroon. There was not much compactness in the midfield either. The slow defending and central defenders playing miles apart, allowing a free shot, lack of follow-up on the rebound made the poor midfield job look innocent.

The goalkeeper could have punched the ball wide, even though, it must be understood that the parry was a reflex action in itself. He did enough to get down and have his powerful hand behind the ball. His efforts to get up and try to deal with the second ball was a sign of great agility and concentration.