[OP-ED]: Good luck dodges Mexico one more time
The tricolor squad was again one of the most unfortunate countries in the World Cup’s draw
Mexico has been one of the most regular teams in the last six World Cups. In all of them, the Hispanic squad has moved past the groups’ round despite facing very tough opponents like Italy, Portugal and Brazil, amongst other. Anyway, the Mexicans have not been able to overcome the knockout round of 16.
The bad results in the eight-of-finals are related to the huge quality of the countries they have faced. In four of the six tournaments, Mexico had to square off against three countries –Argentina (twice), Germany and The Netherlands- which have played, all together, in 13 final games of the last 11 World Cups.
In France 1998 the Mexicans had the Germans on the ropes, leading by a goal with 15 minutes remaining in the contest.
Germany ended up winning 2-1. Against The Netherlands in Brazil 2014 things were just the same. Mexico also held a late lead thanks to a goal scored at the beginning of the second half. But the Dutch came back and won with a cruel penalty kick in aggregated time. In Germany 2006, the Mexicans forced overtime against the Argentineans, but also dropped the game, 2-1.
The easy way to Russia 2018 in which Mexico did not lose a qualifying contest until it had secured its World Cup berth had the loyal tricolor fans hoping for the best. But the World Cup draw leads us to question Mexico’s future in the planet’s most important sports tournament.
Bad luck stroke again! The Hispanic squad joined Group F, the toughest by far with current champion Germany, tough Sweden and South Korea. And bad luck does not end here. If the Mexicans do not win their group, they will need to face Group E’s top squad in the knockout round of 16. All odds indicate that a Brazilian team that is playing at a sensational level will be crowned as the champion of Group E.
There are still more than six months to go before Russia 2018 kicks off. This is plenty of time for Colombian veteran head coach Juan Carlos Osorio to have Team Mexico ready to go over through a very complicated World Cup path. It is true, good luck dodged the tricolor squad once again, but maybe the experience of previous World Cups will help Mexico go past Germany and Brazil to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 1986.