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For the first time in their World Cup preparatory games, the Mexican National Team fell behind on the scoreboard, and they were not able to climb out of the hole. Shutout for the first time since March 5th, El Tri’s unbeaten streak was snapped at 8 games as they fell 1-0 to Bosnia-Herzegovina in Chicago.
Izet Hajrovic scored the lone goal of the game minutes before halftime, when Sejad Salihovic sent in a cross and Hajrovic took advantage of confusion between Miguel Layún and Diego Reyes to reach the ball first and send it past Alfredo Talavera.
After Miguel Herrera made eight changes to the starting eleven from Saturday’s game against Israel – two of them due to injury – it was no surprise to see some disjointedness from the Mexican team. Herrera also strongly criticized the Bosnians for fielding a different starting eleven than the one they had announced, calling it a “dirty trick” and stating that it was because of that trick that Mexico struggled to get into the game at the beginning.
“They won’t be able to do that in a World Cup,” Herrera said. “I’m very annoyed because that isn’t done, I respect all rivals.”
Chicharito Hernández hit the post in the 23rd minute and Miguel Layún looked somewhat threatening as well, but Mexico was overrun in midfield, with the absence of a creative player like Luis Montes starkly evident. Bosnian goalkeeper Asmir Begovic wasn’t forced to make a save until the second half, although he was called on a few times in the dying minutes to preserve the shutout and the win.
Mexico had more of the ball and more shots, but Bosnia-Herzegovina had more shots on goal and generally looked more threatening while in possession. After defeating the Ivory Coast 2-1 in an earlier friendly, the Bosnians are showing that they have a team to be reckoned with in their World Cup debut.
As for Mexico, a narrow defeat won’t overshadow their previous convincing wins, and Miguel Herrera will say the game was not about the result so much as the game. The time for experimenting and shuffling players and lineups is done. The team that faces Portugal on Friday should be very close to the team that will take on Cameroon in Mexico’s World Cup opener on June 13th.
Mexico: Alfredo Talavera, Miguel Layún, Diego Reyes, Carlos Salcido (Francisco Rodríguez 57′), Héctor Moreno (Isaác Brizuela 46′), Miguel Ponce, Héctor Herrera (Giovani dos Santos 71′), Juan José Vázquez, Carlos Peña (Andrés Guardado 62′), Raúl Jiménez (Alan Pulido 57′), Javier Hernández (Marco Fabián 80′).
Bosnia: Asmir Begovic, Mensur Mujdza (Ognjen Vranjes 62′), Emir Spahic, Toni Sunjic (Sead Kolasinac 46′), Senad Lulic (Senijad Ibricic 62′), Izet Harjovic (Edin Visca 75′), Muhamed Besic, Miralem Pjanic (Vedad Ibisevic 75′), Sejad Salihovic, Edin Dzeko, Zvjezdan Misimovic (Tino Susic 69′).