Mexico's loss to the Netherlands in the World Cup

Submitted: Jun 30, 2014
Badlands Journal editorial board

One of the Badlands editors, in agreement with  a commentator on ESPN, wrote this about Mexico's heartbreaking loss to the Netherlands Sunday. We thought it might be worth sharing here. -- blj 

Those boys had done a superb job, beyond expectation, of bottling up the Dutch. Then they scored a goal on top of all that. So, the coach, not wishing it to be understood that his team, rather than he, were beating the Dutch, substituted a defenseman for a forward, thereby betraying his team for the sake of his ego. It destroyed the Mexican team's rhythm, they lost control of the middle, particularly the center axis of the field above the Dutch penalty area, therefore they lost offensive opportunities and, perhaps worse, they gave the Dutch time on the ball that had previously been taken up by Mexican offensive drives. 
Eventually, the Mexican defense, somewhat disorganized by the additional player, made a costly error. The Dutch designed a corner-shot play for a pass out from the goal mouth to a totally unguarded a half back with a foot like a canon who executed perfectly. Then the Dutch forward Arien Robben took a very professional dive in the goal box and his team scored the penalty kick.
The Mexican coach, trying to be a real Big Shot and outsmart the Dutch instead of letting his team outplay them, lost the game.
He should not be permitted to coach any team more important than Los cocadictos del frontera norte. -- blj

Update 7-1-14


Major League

World Cup: Mexico manager Miguel Herrera blames referee, Arjen Robben diving for elimination

Simon Borg

El Tri held a 1-0 lead until the 88th minute equalizer by Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder and then just moments later disaster struck: Mexico captain Rafael Marquez was called for a penalty kick foul for tripping up Arjen Robben, who had previously appealed for a spot kick on two other occasions.

“The man with the whistle is what is keeping us out of this World Cup,” Mexico manager Miguel Herrera said after the match. “We hope the [FIFA] referee commission sees it and sends him home, just like us.”

Herrera claims that Robben committed a dive each of the three times he hit the deck in the Mexican penalty area. The Dutch winger, who stars for German champions Bayern Munich, has a reputation for baiting referees into calls and he even apologized after the match for diving in the first instance late in the first half.

“Three times he dove,” Herrera stated in his postgame press conference. “From the very first one [the referee] should have given him a yellow card … But that’s what separates a good referee from an average referee.”

The head official, Pedro Proenca, hails from Portugal, a country which is a member of the same European confederation (UEFA) as the Netherlands, a detail which was equally confounding for Herrera who criticized the designation of Proenca when referees from other confederations could have been selected.

Then again, Mexico wasn’t new to refereeing controversy in this World Cup. In the opener against Cameroon they had two goals called off because of non-existent offside calls. And against Croatia, they felt they shoud’ve had a penalty kick for what replays showed was a hand ball committed by a Croatian player in his own box.

“We played four games and in three of them the refereeing was disastrous,” Herrera said.

But it wasn’t all on the referees on Sunday. The colorful Mexican manager admitted that his team lost concentration on the Sneijder equalizer and he even criticized his squad for lacking the guile to see out the victory in the final minutes – “We shouldn’t even have played. We should’ve taken the ball to the corner just like the big teams do,” he said.

And now instead of planning for a quarterfinal against Costa Rica, the Mexicans will be returning home after the Round of 16 for the 6th straight tournament, after they seemed destined for a deep run.

“Today it was a bad referee decision that leaves us out," said Herrera, who indicated that he'll be reassessing his future with the national team. "And I reiterate, we hope that tomorrow or the next day the referee should also be sent home. If they’re going to grade him, he shouldn't be allowed to officiate again at this World Cup.”

| »

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Copy the characters (respecting upper/lower case) from the image.

To manage site Login