Mexico's Javier Aquino (11) is congratulated by teammates after scoring over Senegal in their men's quarter final soccer match at the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium in London, August 4, 2012. At left is Senegal's Abdoulaye Ba. (Photo : REUTERS/Darren Staples)
Mexico has been madly inconsistent in their campaign to the semi-final. Their toughest test awaits in a relentless Japanese that win with tenacity and determination. Mexico will need to up their own intensity to win and progress to the final and there are reasons to validate the supposition that they can pull it off.
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Depth Up Top
The injury to Kensuke Nagai likely leaves Japan without one of its two top scorers and indicates that Mexico is loaded with enough firepower to finally put a goal past Japan. Giovanni Dos Santos is arguably the most talented player on the pitch and the additions of Marco Fabian, Oribe Peralta, and Raul Jimenez give this squad a scary offensive group. If one had to bet on which squad had the better strikers, Mexico would take the cake.
Excellent in the Clutch
They have been creaky at times, but this team has become a bonafide winner. Like Japan, they had seven points in the group stage and allowed zero goals. They won their two matches in the second half with time winding down, even when they were being severely outplayed. In the semi-final, they blew two goals and conceded momentum to Senegal but found a way to capitalize in key moments of extra time to win that match. Mexico knows how and when to win, even if it is not pretty.
Giovanni Dos Santos
Yes he is part of the depth up top, but he will be the best player on the pitch when the two squad face off on Tuesday. He has played on the big stage a number of times and has excelled as well. No one will forget the clinic he put up against the USA in the CONCACAF Cup Final last year. He scored two goals in the win against Gabon and added a game winner in the extra time of a 4-2 win over Senegal in the semi-final. This guy is a superstar and will shine brightest as the stakes mount higher.
Disagree? Read why Japan will win HERE.