The World Cup is in South America so naturally one would be expecting Mexico to do well. Well adapted to the climate and humidity of Brazil, long-versed students of passing football, and a love of the game that is so intrinsically linked into the whole psyche of the nation. The will is there from the population but the team is weak, and they have been for quite some while.
El Tri struggled to even qualify for the World Cup, and struggling is putting it nicely, they were god awful in qualifying, winning just two of ten matches. That's right, two! It was only thanks to their hated rivals from the north that they had the chance to qualify. The United States were already safely qualified, so were Costa Rica and Honduras, but Mexico's chances hung in the balance.
They were so close to being beaten out by Panama, yes Panama. But two stoppage time goals from the stars and stripes that saved them from almost eternal embarrassment and 80-odd years of heated rivalry flipped on its head. The Gringos had saved them, the shame was deafening. Graham Zusi and Aron Johannsson were unwitting heroes while the pearls of Mexican soccer became worthless, and the Crown Prince Chicharito not even worth the saliva in Pueblo Mexicano's mouths to mutter.
Hernandez is nothing anymore, you won't be finding his name on the Starting XI in Brazil that's for sure. Where once he reigned another has taken his spot, the 30-year old Oribe Peralta. Peralta scores for El Tri, Hernandez doesn't. The Manchester United striker had the sides best chance in last nights 1-0 loss to Bosnia, he hit the post when one-on-one with Asmir Begovic. That was his chance, his chance to prove his worth to Miguel Herrera, to wrestle a starting spot for the World Cup, to make the people of Mexico believe in him again. He failed to do any.
The Hernandez of two years ago scores that with ease. This version of him, the one that plays incredibly little and not at all often at Old Trafford has no sharpness to his game. The will is there but the finishing is weak.
If they get out of their group ahead of Croatia or Cameroon it will be completely against their current form and expectation. Even the most ardent supporter worries about potential implosion.
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