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Five Takeaways from 2014 World Cup Mexico-Cameroon Match

2014 World Cup: Mexico takes on Cameroon

Photo Courtesy of the Official FIFA World Cup Facebook Page

The second match of the 2014 World Cup and  Group A took place on Friday as Mexico took on Cameroon The game ended up being played in a constant downpour in Natal. The winner of this game knew they would be a position that would realistically advance them out of the group and into the knockout stages after Brazil beat Croatia 3-1 in the 2014 World Cup opener.

From the beginning of the game, it was one which Mexico seized the initiative and pressed Cameroon in attack. Despite their efforts in the first half, Mexico found itself tied 0-0 at the half when it should have been up 2-0. Yet they never let down and thanks to a goal at the 62nd minute from Oribe Peralta, Mexico ended up winning 1-0 in a game which left much to talk about.

Mexico Seizing The Initiative

One of the things that Mexico coach Miguel Herrera made a point of highlighting in his pre-game press conference on Thursday was the need for his team to press high and pressure Cameroon. On Friday, his team followed his instructions and executed the game plan. This allowed Mexico to take control from opening kickoff and saw them defeat Cameroon.

Andres Guardado Delivered

One of the questions many had about Mexico going into Friday’s game against Cameroon was if it was the correct decision to start as the left-sided midfielder over Carlos Peña or even a Marco Fabian. As it turned out, the decision on the part of Miguel Herrera to start Andres Guardado was the correct one as Guardado turned in a very solid effort that was more than acceptable. He did what was asked of him in helping to control and maintain possession in the midfield while also doing a better job of letting Miguel Layun get into the attack down the left side.

Mexican Starting Forwards Played Well Off Each Other

Another of the questions asked about Mexico was how well would Giovani Dos Santos and Oribe Peralta do upfront as the starting forwards. While they showed flashes of their partnership bearing some fruit early in the second half in the last pre-World Cup friendly against Portugal, the questions remained. Yet against Cameroon, the Dos Santos-Peralta partnership looked good as they played well off each other and created scoring chances with Peralta being the one to pounce on a saved Dos Santos shot for the only goal of the game.

Guillermo Ochoa Present When Needed

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was not put under constant or sustained pressure during the game from the Cameroon attack. Yet. he was on top of it when Cameroon had a threatening attack. This was on full display in second half stoppage time as Ochoa made an incredible save from a header to preserve Mexico’s 1-0 lead.

Referee Mistakes Take Center Stage at 2014 World Cup

After the very clear and noticeable referee mistakes made in the second half of the Brazil-Croatia game on Thursday, the performance of the referees was going to be scrutinized even more throughout the 2014 World Cup. In the Mexico-Cameroon game, referring decisions played a major factor, especially in the first half. In the first half of the game, the first assistant referee (the one on the same side as the team benches) twice incorrectly ruled Giovani Dos Santos offside on plays that would have produced goals for Mexico. The same assistant also incorrectly ruled Oribe Peralta offside and took away a potential scoring chance. These mistakes may turn out to be unfair to Mexico as goal difference may come into play in determining if they advance to the knockout stages.

Lucas Carreras is a contributing Mexican National Team and Liga MX writer for Stoppage Time Soccer. You can follow Lucas on Twitter by following him @maldini3fan.

 

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