El Tri unimpressive in win over Guyana
Before a minute of Mexico's World Cup qualification opener had been played, manager Jose Manuel de la Torre showed how little regard he had for El Tri's opponent, Guyana. After staying true to Mexico's 4-2-3-1 formation -- barring some fleeting moments of 4-4-2 -- during the three U.S. friendlies, de la Torre sent out a starting lineup Friday that forecast a night of offensive pressure.
For the first time in his year and a half as manager, de la Torre fielded a lineup that had just three defenders. Essentially, Mexico was going to play a 3-5-2 formation with Javier Hernandez and Aldo de Nigris as the strikers.
Already, many had predicted a Mexico landslide, and the offensive lineup probably had a few hoping for an onslaught of goals. Instead, El Tri finished with a 3-1 win and will have to be satisfied with three points in qualification, even if they came with little showmanship. This was not a blowout.
Part of the problem was the formation. Mexican defenders never seemed to quite buy into the new system, although things started well.
Hector Moreno, Javier Rodriguez and Severo Meza manned the back line while El Tri sent forward seven attackers. At times, even the defensive players crept into the attacking half to join the offense.
Mexico had little fear of Guyana's attack -- and with good reason. Guyana for almost the entire first half defended with nine players, leaving just one attacking player creeping at the half line. Obviously, Guyana was going to hope to scuttle Mexico's offense with a slew of defenders and then would hope for a counter.
Mexico needed just 11 minutes to thwart Guyana's plan. Carlos Salcido launched a strike from the top of the box to give Mexico a 1-0 lead. Just five minutes later, Hernandez and de Nigris combined to back-heel two passes to Gio Dos Santos, who netted Mexico's second goal.
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