What you all saw was the Frustration of ten years by Mexico not winning on American soil thru Friendly matches, World Cup Qualifiers and Gold Cup matches, finally being put to rest. But sadly it wasn’t from their tactics or run of play that got it all started. This was a single call that turned the entire match around and when you hope to see the players settle it on their own without the interference from the referee, that’s when it all went downhill very, very fast.
Courtney Campbell who officiated both matches between the USA & Honduras in Group B play in Washington DC and the Semi-Final in Chicago decided all on his own that a penalty call was going to be the match changer for this breathing a sigh of relief El-Tri side. 56th Minute both Jay Heaps and Giovani Dos Santos are fighting for position in the USA area when Dos Santos throws his elbow at Heaps chin which should’ve been a foul on Mexico & a yellow card to boot. Sadly the call was against the USA and a penalty kick was awarded to Mexico. Gerardo Torrado took the spot kick, smacked it home and the King Kong sized monkey was off of Mexico’s back and they poured it on for over a decade of frustration.
A single call by the official that never looked like a penalty for Mexico slowly took away the USA’s composure and all of a sudden Mexico came on like a giant wave and smashed the back of the net four more times drowning this B side that barely had any international experience & take a thumping that hasn’t been seen in so long. But just like that C side down in Venezuela in the 2007 Copa America that blossomed into a strong side at the Confederations Cup like Charlie Davies, Ricardo Clark, Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Bornstein, Benny Feilhaber and so on these players will learn from this experience as well.
Yes the USA had their chances and looked like the better side in the first half against Mexico. They missed the net with either bad touches, or shots gone wide, still they looked strong and tried to control the match at the start of the second half. Javier Aguirre was playing negative football by putting eight men behind the ball in the first half trying to keep the spirits of his players in a positive way, yet before the match he criticized the USA for playing like that when all Bob Bradley has been doing is playing attacking football. Yes Carlos Vela coming into the match at the start of the second half was a solid substitution for Mexico, but while he was giving the USA fits that wasn’t the match changer. The bad call of Courtney Campbell handing a penalty to Aguirre’s side was the match changer and it was the first death blow to this young American side.
Any loss to Mexico is a tough pill to swallow, but I have to say that this team didn’t beat our top players. No Donovan, No Dempsey, No Howard, No Altidore. Charlie Davies, Steve Cherundolo, Freddy Adu were called in by their clubs in Europe and had to leave in the middle of the tournament. But they showed class and sportsmanship on the field and off the field as they went down swinging. They never gave up even when the score was against them. Now it’s time to prepare for the tough road Qualifier at the Azteca on Wednesday, August 12th.