Mexico's Hector Herrera (C) celebrates scoring in overtime over Senegal with teammate Jorge Enriquez (R) and Darvin Chavez (5) in their men's quarter final soccer match at the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium in London, August 4, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Darren Staples )
Mexico's play in the group stage was questionable at best. However, their play in the knockout stages has been a revelation as the team has won both games with a combination of timely scoring, heart, and strong defense. Now they face their greatest test in Brazil. Brazil is a potent offense that will test Mexico's defense more than any other team has.
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But Mexico can still win their first ever gold medal and here are the reasons why.
Defense and Goaltending Superiority
The numbers say quite a bit, but the play on the field says more. Through five games, only three goals have been allowed by Mexico. Brazil has allowed five. Mexico has three shutouts to Brazil's two. Mexico's defense holds together as a unit and distributes the ball well to its offense with Carlos Salcido serving as the ideal bridge between the two. Brazil has trouble getting out of their own zone from the defense, often forcing keeper Gabriel to be overly aggressive with his passing.
Jose Corona has been a rock in goal for Mexico; Gabriel has been questionable and inconsistent for Brazil. Which team holds their fort better will ultimately determine the winner of this match as both squads are more than capable on offense. And Mexico would win that battle easily.
Brazil's offense has scored three goals in every match for a grand total of 15 while Mexico's has "only" tallied 10 through five matches. But seven of those 10 came in the last two goals meaning that Mexico has scored more than Brazil in their last two matches. More importantly is the face that Mexico breeched Japan's seemingly impenetrable defense which had not conceded a single goal prior to the tilt with the North Americans.
Much has been said about Brazil's offense, and for good reason, but the Mexicans have not been far behind in the last two matches. Also add in the fact that they are getting goals from everywhere where as Brazil has been dependent on Neymar and Leandro Damiao to score the big goals and you could argue that the depth on the Mexican side can sway the battle in their direction.
Disagree? To read on why Brazil will win, click HERE.
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Which team has the better Strikers? Click HERE to Find out.