Mexico needed a win over New Zealand to make things easier for themselves on Saturday. If they won, all they needed was a draw against host nation Russia (Saturday, June 24 at 11:00 P.M. ET) . After 90 minutes, Mexico walked away with a 2-1 victory, but it was arguably one of the worst matches they’ve played in 2017.
Here are the grades for the game…
- Alfredo Talavera, C+: He made some great saves, and he had some mind boggling mistakes, including a pass out of bounds with Salcedo not anticipating a pass.
- Néstor Araujo, C: With all his good interceptions and stops, he makes a horrible pass which lead to New Zealand’s goal
- Diego Reyes, B-: He may have had one or two poor passes, but pushing up was the total opposite of his objective in game one. He was fairly poised throughout this match.
- Carlos Salcedo, N/A: An awful shoulder dislocation took him out of the match early. Not enough action to make a grade.
- Oswaldo Alanís, D: He looked very lost on the field, and gave up the ball several times. He was subbed out after New Zealand took the lead.
- Giovani dos Santos, D-: He was totally absent from this match. The man who carried Mexico in 2014 made nearly zero contributions in this game.
- Marco Fabián, B+: Took him some time to get going, but he was one of the best players on the field for Mexico as the game went on.
- Javier Aquino, A: A total engine and heart of Mexico’s attack. An outstanding performance from the man from Tigres.
- Oribe Peralta, C: This may seem shocking if you look at the scoresheet, but Oribe was lagging through most of the match. Great goal, nonetheless, and it was the one which lead to Mexico’s victory.
- Raúl Jiménez, B+: His goal got Mexico back in this match. A lot of hustle and determination in the second half.
- Jürgen Damm, C: His grade is mostly affected by his first half. He was predictable and slow on the ball. His second half, however, was much better, leveling his grade for the day.
- Héctor Moreno, N/A: Similar to Salcedo, he was taken out for an injury.
- Rafael Márquez, C: Nothing too spectacular from Rafa. He had a few good plays, as well as looking a step behind on some others.
- Héctor Herrera, B: His inclusion in the game brought life back to Mexico’s dominance in the midfield. His quality was a blessing in this win.
- Juan Carlos Osorio, F: What most fans fear from Osorio is how he manages tournaments, and it was what we saw against New Zealand. He made eight changes from the previous match and it almost ruined the tournament for Mexico. Had this been a more structured opponent, Mexico would’ve lost by several goals.