How Mexico’s draw is a win

11 06 2010

Many will say Mexico blew a golden opportunity for three points today in its World Cup opener. I say El Tri is fortunate to get one point, based on everything it was up against.

Soccer City Johannesburg World Cup 2010 South Africa v Mexico Match 01 11/06/10 Rafael Marquez (Mexico) celebrates equaliser with Giovani dos Santos Photo Roger Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

Loud and vocal South African crowd. The presence of some of the country’s legends and dignitaries. An opponent with nothing to lose playing for national pride. A 55th minute goal that put S.A. up 1-0, and a shot that hit the post near the end of the match.

Rafael Marquez helped Mexico get something out of a day that clearly didn’t belong to them. His goal in the 79th minute made up for several missed chances earlier. Now Mexico is still in position to advance out of Group A, maybe even win it.

But so is South Africa although that seems less likely. That team was impressive in making adjustments and settling down from one half to the next, and it will be a tough opponent for France and Uruguay.

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