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|Mexico defeat Golden Jaguars 3-1 at Estadio Azteca|
|Saturday, 09 June 2012 21:37|
MEXICO CITY, Mexico - A spirited second-half performance could not prevent Guyana’s Golden Jaguars from going down 3-1 to CONCACAF giants Mexico on the opening day of Group B action in the third round of the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers at the Estadio Azteca Stadium last Friday night.
Scoring the goals for Mexico were Carlos Salcido (10th), Giovanni Dos Santos (14th) and a John Paul ‘JP’ Rodriguez own goal via a Javier Hernandez flick in the 50th minute, while another own goal, awarded to Hector Moreno in the 60th minute off a deflected Gregory ‘Jackie Chan’ Richardson shot, accounted for the Jaguars’ lone strike.
The Jaguars stepped onto the world famous stadium to an electric atmosphere that was highlighted best by how the Mexicans in the crowd sang the national anthem in the stadium in a loud and emotional manner and the sight of home town hero Javier Hernandez kneeling and praying before kick-off.
In front of an almost capacity home crowd, which according to the Mexican Football Association reached almost 100 000, proceedings commenced with Mexico’s ‘El Trico’ putting on a passing exhibition that would have made Barcelona proud.
The ultimate tiki-taka movement was on display as they strung together almost 30 passes in the first five minutes of play, before Guyana touched the ball and the Mexicans opened the scoring when a sharp left-wing cross by Andres Guadardo was not cleared sufficiently, and left-back Carlos Salcido, arriving in mid-field, volleyed in the opener.
Soon it became 2-0, following some more world-class combination play from the Mexicans who literally parted the Jaguars defence that national coach Jamaal Shabazz set up very tight, in similar manner to when Moses parted the Red Sea.
First right-winger Pablo Barrera flummoxed left-sided players Howard Newton and Walter Moore with some intricate close control, before passing to his midfielder, who found Hernandez, who later played an audacious back heel into the path of Dos Santos whose shot slammed its way past the outstretched palm of Guyana custodian Ronson Williams.
Things were certainly not going according to plan for the Jaguars and with the deafening crowd screaming and booing every time they touched the ball, a procession of goals from the home team, especially their ‘El Trico’ was feared.
However, the Jaguars gradually got better as the half progressed and got their best chance of the first half in the 43rd minute, when the home team made their first blunder, to which striker Carl Cort, who had a wonderful game, pounced on the loose ball, darted wide and sent a sharp cross into right-winger Ricky Shakes, whose resulting header went wide of the mark.
When the second half resumed, Shabazz brought on Gregory Richardson for Howard Newton, with intent on attack after a first half in which he instructed the team to be disciplined defensively.
But it was Mexico who continued to do the attacking when another Guadardo cross from the left was tucked home neatly by Hernandez and the crowd erupted to the approval of their star scorer on the night, only for the goal to be later changed as aforementioned to an own goal.
The final 30 minutes of the game genuinely saw the Jaguars dominate as the Cort/Richardson combination made the Mexican defence work and an uncharacteristic third blunder in the mid-field area by the Mexicans, was finally finished off by the Jaguars.
Shakes flew forward from mid-field, passed wide to Richardson who ran left and his hard shot was deflected off Moreno and away from keeper Jesus Corona to make it 3-1, much to the delight of his team mates and technical staff.
Shakes, who was having an outstanding night on the field for the Jaguars, got into the action a few minutes later, when he sent a sharp right-wing cross for Cort whose superb volley found its way to the top of the crossbar with Corona already beaten, much to the agony of the Guyana technical staff.
Anthony Abrams and Dwight Peters were the other substitutes brought on and they continued the modus operandi of attack in the final minutes, where in summary if Guyana were more clinical, would have seen the result reading 3-2 or 3-3.
The Mexico defence, without their regular captain and experienced defender Rafael Marquez, seemed to lose their defensive shape, as the Jaguars attacked them in the latter stages.
Guyana can take much heart from this performance as they now come to host the other CONCACAF giants in the group Costa Rica, in their second Group B encounter at the Guyana National Stadium on June 12.
The starting 11 reads: Guyana - Ronson Williams, Jake Newton, Leon Cort, John Paul ‘JP’ Rodrigues, Walter Moore, Ricky Shakes (Dwight Peters - 71st), Chris Nurse (captain), Kester Jacobs, Howard Newton (Gregory Richardson - 46th), Kayode McKinnon and Carl Cort (Anthony Abrams - 80th). Cautions: Chris Nurse - 24th minute
Mexico (formation: 4-3-1-2): Jesus Corona, Severo Meza, Javier Rodriguez (captain), Hector Moreno, Carlos Salcido, Jesus Zavala, Andres Guadardo, Pablo Barrera, Giovanni Dos Santos (Angel Reyna - 60th) , Aldo De Nigris (Alfredo Talavera - 80th minute), Javier Hernandez.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 09 June 2012 21:46|
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