Friday, June 13, 2014

Peralta Gives Mexico 1-0 Win Over Cameroon

In a match played under torrential downpour, Mexico have managed to start their 2014 World Cup campaign with a 1-0 victory over Cameroon. Mexico coach Miguel Herrera set out his side in an attacking 3-3-4 formation, which without the ball dropped back into more of a 3-5-2. The two up front for Mexico were Giovani Dos Santos and Oribe Peralta, with Javier Hernandez kept on the bench. Cameroon had the two main pillars of Alex Song in central midfield and Samuel Eto'o up front, settling into a 4-5-1 with Eto'o as the main attacking outlet.

It was Herrera and Dos Santos for Mexico who took control of the match, and put Cameroon under pressure. El Tri were much more comfortable with the ball than the African nation who looked fairly shaky as Mexico maintained possession and cut forward with their quick movement. Although both sides went into the half without a goal it could have been 2-1 for Mexico, as there were three disallowed goals, all due to offside positions (some more legitimate than others). After the opening match's doubtful penalty, the surely legitimate goal which Dos Santos had disallowed only adds to the criticism of this tournament's refereeing.

Although Cameroon were holding onto the draw fairly well, they had little invention going forward. The African side wasn't able to settle down with possession, and were often too snappy in trying to feed Eto'o or run towards goal. On the other hand, Mexico were patient and in the 61st minute Herrera topped a great passing move with a through ball for Dos Santos towards goal. The Villarreal forward had his shot parried by Itandje, but Peralta pounced on the rebound and tucked it in.

With the 1-0 lead, Mexico coach Herrera decided to give Peralta the scorer's ovation substituting him with Javier Hernandez. The Manchester United striker looked dangerous, but when served a pacey cross in front of goal, the unmarked Chicharito blasted it over the bar. With this win Mexico put Croatia in a difficult position in group A, but El Tri still have plenty to worry about as they play Brazil in their next match.

Can Mexico manage to get out of group A ahead of Croatia? Has the refereeing hindered this World Cup so far? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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