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Mexico try to break the curse of last-16 in Qatar World Cup 2022

Nick Wilhelm

Updated: Oct 17, 2022 09:12

El Tri out to clear last-16 hurdle


    Mexico has had mixed results in the qualifying, but they have high dreams.

    El Tri have lost in the round of 16 at the last seven FIFA World Cups.

    Diego Lainez and Hirving Lozano are expected to do well. will introduce you the Mexican national football team...

    Mexico is entering its eighth straight FIFA World Cup amidst all the controversy, rumors, and discussion with one goal in mind: to go past the Round of 16 after failing to do so on each of their previous seven trips. This football hotbed is adamant to think big and bounce back from a less-than-stellar performance in the qualifications, and it dreams of taking home the biggest prize in the competition.

    Mexico nonetheless managed to finish below Canada in the eight-team final qualifying round despite falling short of the expectations of the fans and the football media. You could be excused for thinking that El Tri's critics are being unjust considering that result and the fact that they won the Concacaf Gold Cup in 2019 and placed second in the competition the previous year, even though they did not reach their full potential on the way to Qatar 2022.

    The Mexicans can now begin laying out their game plan for victory before their debut encounter against Poland now that they have secured their seat. They have the talent to advance, even if Robert Lewandowski and a formidable Argentina team lead by Lionel Messi stand in their way during the group stage. However, it is still unclear who will make the trip.

    Mexico's World Cup campaigns have a history of strong group-phase performances being followed by consecutive last-four exits. The group's top two slots will be their first objective, which won't be simple considering the caliber of their opponents. If they succeed in getting over that obstacle, they will have the opportunity to play one of the two Group D qualifiers and end their undesirable record.


    Mexico’s Group C fixtures


    22 November, 16:00 local time


    26 November, 19:00 local time, Lusail Stadium

    Mexico-Saudi Arabia

    30 November, 19:00 local time, Lusail Stadium

    Gerardo Martino’s approach and tactics

    The Argentinian's future as Mexico's coach is still in doubt, with some fans, journalists, and even some ex-players calling for his dismissal. Despite the criticism, Martino is steadfast in his resolve to work toward the goal he stated in the press conference that immediately followed his hiring, saying, "I'm committed to the goal of reaching the quarterfinals at the World Cup but I want to put in place a system and a clear style of play before then."

    That system and manner of play have not yet been implemented by Martino, at least not consistently. A string of ailments that will prevent him from using Jesus Corona's services in Qatar, for example, are partially to blame for that. Martino acknowledged the intensity of the hostility directed at him, saying, "I'm not just a public enemy; I'm public enemy number one in Mexico." He has mostly stayed with his favored 4-3-3 system despite changing players and the roles and responsibilities they carry out.


    Key player: Hirving Lozano

    The key target of Mexico's World Cup aspirations. Chucky, as he is called, performed at Russia 2018 and gained notoriety because to the chant that Tri fans sang in his honor, set to the beat of The White Stripes' Seven Nation Army. Despite the fact that he is capable of playing in a variety of attacking positions, including center-forward, he is typically placed wide on one of the flanks.

    The goal that handed El Tri a historic victory over Germany in the group stage of the Russian World Cup was scored by Lozano. The winger came to Napoli for the largest fee ever paid for a Mexican player a year after shining for his nation in the world finals. He has since made an impact on a team that is presently atop Serie A. When in possession of the ball, Lozano moves extremely quickly, is gifted at seeing openings behind defenses, and possesses the speed and technique to trouble any back line. Mexico's prospects rely heavily on his talent.

    One to watch: Diego Lainez

    Lainez, one of Martino's younger players, is recognized by the European football press as one of the most promising young players to have emerged in the previous five years. He still has a lot of potential, and he has everything it takes to make a big splash in Qatar. After making a name for himself with the Americans, he moved to Spain and Real Betis in 2019. Due to a lack of first-team appearances, he was ultimately loaned out to the Portuguese club Braga this season, where he has been trying to stake out a spot for the World Cup.

    Lainez, a 2020 Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist, is one of Mexico's newest and brightest talents. The wide man excelled while representing his nation at every age level thanks to his match-winning talent, earning the nickname "The Mexican Messi." He might have the chance to demonstrate his abilities to the globe in Qatar 2022.

    Ricardo La Volpe, a former Tri coach who has worked with Lainez, stated why he compared the two players in an interview with The Athletic: "Physically, they are the same guy. Because of his physical characteristics, dribbling abilities, and creativity as a player, I've always compared Lainez to Messi. He'll keep getting better. He holds a lot of significance for Mexico's future.


    Mexico at the World Cup

    Mexico is on repeat when it comes to the World Cup. Every time since USA 1994, they have advanced past the group stage, only to have their hopes dashed by heartbreaking losses in the round of 16, making it seven consecutive exits for a nation with an increasing obsession with making it to the last eight.

    At Russia 2018, it appeared as though that dismal streak may end. El Tri got things going with that well-known victory over the reigning champions Germany, and they kept the good vibes going by defeating Korea Republic 2-1. Then, in their final group game against Sweden, they suffered a dismal 3-0 defeat that dropped them to second place in Group F and a frightening round-of-16 matchup with Brazil. Mexico was promptly eliminated from the competition with a score of 2-0, and they watched enviously as Sweden defeated Switzerland by a score of 1-0 to advance to the quarterfinals. When Mexico co-hosts the competition in 2026, they'll try to get past the quarterfinals, something they've only done in the past when hosting the event, as they did in 1970 and again in 1986.

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