Tag Archives: croatia

International Friendly: Mexico vs Croatia – Recap and Highlights

Mexico saw their perfect start to 2017 come to a halt with a 1-2 loss to Croatia in an international friendly held in Los Angeles. The loss ends a nine-game unbeaten streak for El Tri and is just their second defeat under Juan Carlos Osorio. Meanwhile, Croatia earned their second victory of the year.

Despite the loss, the game remains notable for Mexico as Javier Hernández’s goal made “Chicharito” the all-time leading goalscorer for the Mexican national team.

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International Friendly: Mexico vs Croatia – Where to Watch

The Mexican national team will kick off their busy summer of soccer with a friendly against Croatia on Saturday. The game, to be played in Los Angeles, will serve as a warm-up for both teams ahead of June World Cup qualifiers.

El Tri will look to keep their 2017 winning streak alive, although they will be without a number of players due to the Liga MX final, while Croatia will look to restore some confidence with a good result after a 1-2-1 start to the year, including a 3-0 loss to Estonia in their last game.

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Mexico vs Croatia: Recap and Highlights

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Mexico is in the Round of Sixteen. El Tri went into this final group stage clash with Croatia needing just a tie to advance, while the Croats needed all three points. In the end, it was Mexico that took those three points, thanks to three goals in a ten-minute second-half span.

Criticized going into this game for only having scored one goal in two games – a statistic that ignores the two Giovani Dos Santos goals that were incorrectly disallowed in the game against Cameroon – it took Mexico until the 72nd minute to find a goal tonight. But after that the floodgates opened, with Andrés Guardado and Javier “Chicharito” Hernández joining Rafa Márquez on the scoresheet.

Those goals helped overshadow some controversial refereeing decisions, most notably a penalty not given when the score was still 0-0. Had Mexico lost, referee Ravshan Irmatov’s decision not to award a penalty would be under a lot more scrutiny. In the 64th minute, Croatia’s Darijo Srna committed a blatant handball in the box to stop a goal-bound Andrés Guardado shot. Irmatov did not call it, as he had failed to call an equally obvious Croatian handball (outside the box) in the first half.

The largely pro-Mexican crowd in the Arena Pernambuco made their presence felt throughout the game, belting out the Mexican national anthem during the pregame ceremonies and then singing and chanting throughout the game. The controversial “¡Puto!” chant, which is traditionally done on goal kicks and prompted a FIFA investigation due to its homophobic nature, was heard loudly throughout the game. The fans in fact also brought it out during Croatian corner kicks as well as their goal kicks.

During the game, Croatia enjoyed the majority of possession, but was unable to do much with it. Ochoa’s goal was only really threatened after Mexico took the lead. Rafael Márquez headed in a Héctor Herrera corner kick in the 72nd minute; then Andrés Guardado made it 2-0 just minutes later with a one-time shot following a cross from Oribe Peralta. Chicharito, who came on as a late substitute for the third straight game, headed the ball in at the far post from close range to make it 3-0 in the 82nd minute.

Despite the shock of the three quick goals, Croatia did manage to attempt a comeback. Croatian attacks first forced Héctor Moreno into a sliding clearance near the goal line with Ochoa beaten before Perisic slid a shot past Ochoa in the 87th. That goal ended Mexico’s shutout streak – it was the first goal they conceded in the tournament – but did not ultimately affect the outcome, which was never much in doubt after Márquez’s opening goal.

Croatia still needed three goals, and the likelihood of getting them – always low – dropped even further when substitute Ante Rebic earned a straight red card in the 89th minute for introducing his studs to Carlos Peña’s ankle.

With the 3-1 win, Mexico reaches 7 points and advances to the knockout rounds, where they will face the Netherlands in the Round of Sixteen.

Group A Table

Team Games W D L GF GA GD Points
Brazil 3 2 1 0 7 2 5 7
Mexico 3 2 1 0 4 1 3 7
Croatia 3 1 0 2 6 6 0 3
Cameroon 3 0 0 3 1 9 -8 0


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Mexico: Guillermo Ochoa, Francisco Rodríguez, Rafael Márquez, Miguel Layún, Héctor Moreno, Paul Aguilar, Héctor Herrera, Andrés Guardado (Marco Fabián 84′), José Juan Vázquez, Giovani dos Santos (Javier Hernández 62′), Oribe Peralta (Carlos Peña 79′).

Croatia: Stipe Pletikosa, Sime Vrsaljko (Mateo Kovacic 58′), Vedran Corluka, Dejan Lovren, Darijo Srna, Danijel Pranjic (Nikica Jelavic 74′), Ivan Perisic, Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric, Ivica Olic (Ante Rebic 69′), Mario Mandzukic.

Mexico vs Croatia: Preview and Where to Watch

el triAfter picking up a hard-fought win against Cameroon despite two questionably disallowed goals, Mexico took on the hosts and walked away with a point thanks to Guillermo Ochoa’s outstanding goalkeeping. Those four points put El Tri in second place in the group, tied with Brazil on points but behind them on goal difference, which is the first tiebreaker – and had Gio dos Santos’s goals been counted, Mexico would be at the top of the group.

That puts Mexico in the driver’s seat for their final group stage game against Croatia, as the Croats lost to Brazil before beating Cameroon and are on three points.

Mexico have yet to concede at the World Cup, but on the other hand, they’ve only scored one goal. Officially, at least. In actuality, they’ve put the ball in the back of the net three times, but assistant referee Humberto Clavijo saw fit to raise his flag on two of those would-be goals. (The Colombian referee team has been assigned another game – Russia vs South Korea – but Clavijo was dropped and replaced by Ecuadorian assistant Christian Lescano).

As for Croatia, they conceded three goals to Brazil, including a controversial penalty, but hung four on Cameroon – albeit a 10-man Cameroon side, as Alex Song got himself red-carded for a bizarre attack on Mario Mandzukic.

For the curious, the referee team in charge of this one is Uzbekistan’s Ravshan Irmatov with assistants Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (also Uzbekistan) and Bakhadyr Kochkarov (Kyrgyzstan). The fourth official is Néant Alioum of Cameroon.

Mexico’s coach Miguel Herrera has stated that El Tri will not be looking for a tie, which is all they need to advance. “Our intentions are to win. If you think going into the game that you’re going to tie, you’re most likely just going to lose.”

He is also unconcerned about Mexico’s official goal tally. “If you win 1-0, you move on,” Herrera pointed out. He also thinks that because this is essentially a must-win game for Croatia, space will open up for his team to exploit.

Although Mexico’s goalkeeping has snagged all the headlines, they have a strong midfield with José Juan Vázquez, Hector Herrera and Andrés Guardado all performing admirably so far this tournament. They link up well with Mexico’s forward tandem and will be able to take advantage of any gaps Croatia leaves at the back as they press forward.

Group Table, qualification scenarios and TV schedule after the jump.

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Mexico in the World Cup: Where to Watch

world cupThe 2014 World Cup in Brazil kicks off at 4 PM on Thursday, June 12th, with the hosts taking on Croatia. The other two Group A teams, Mexico and Cameroon, face off the following day.

The Univision family of networks will have all three of Mexico’s group stage games on multiple channels, while English-language coverage is also available on the ESPN family of networks. The schedule is below; all times are Eastern.

Friday, June 13
Mexico vs Cameroon – 12:00 noon – Univision / Univision Deportes/ Unimás / ESPN2

Tuesday, June 17
Brazil vs Mexico – 3:00 PM – Univision / Univision Deportes / Unimás / ESPN

Monday, June 23
Croatia vs Mexico – 4:00 PM – Univision / Univision Deportes / ESPN2

In the Round of Sixteen, the winner of Group A will take on the Group B runner-up on Saturday, June 28th at noon, while the Group A runner-up will take on the Group B winner on Sunday, June 29th at noon.