by G.D. Morrill
Many of the capacity crowd, 99% Mexican, had not yet settled in their seats in the Mexico v Uruguay game yesterday in Glendale, Arizona, when a cross in front of Uruguay’s goal mouth resulted in an own goal, credited to Mexican midfielder, Hector Herrera in the first three minutes. Uruguay, playing without Barcelona super star, Luiz”the biter”, Suarez, appeared to be no match with the Mexican team with multiple stars, including Javier “Chaicharito” Hernandez, their star forward, and international playe star, Andres Guardado.
Once the Mexicans scored, the crowd, not yet ready, raised a relatively quiet roar. Everyone was stunned. As the game progressed, it appeared as though the Mexicans would toy with Uruguay, playing in their own territory, daring the Uruguayans to open up so they could then penetrate their defense. Uruguay didn’t fall for it, and for the next 70 minutes, it was boring soccer. The Uruguayans would play with ten men as a defender was given a red card for a second yellow.
At the seventy fourth minute, all hell broke loose! Guardado, who had a yellow card, was given another and that meant that he had earned a red card and was sent off the field. Immediately upon his exiting the pitch, the Uruguayan and Athletico Madrid star, Godin, headed a ball into the goal, and the “ten” Uruguayans in the stands exploded. Godin, making a bit of a spectacle of himself put his hand to his ear, emphasizing the deafening quiet he had caused in the Mexican crowd, all the while parading around pulling at his shirt, a move to show his pride in his country’s history of glory when it comes to World Cup prowess over the last century.
Well, bad move. At the 84th minute, Mexican center fullback, Rafa Marquez, received a ball about 20 feet to the left side of the goal and fired a bullet above the goalie who was covering the near post. 2-1 Mexico! A lackadaisical game had turned into a barn burner! In extra time, Hector Herrera headed in an extraordinarily easy header and the game was over: Mexico 3, Uruguay1.
This was the big game in their group, with the other being between Jamaica and Venezuela, won by Venezuela 1-0. Neither team is expected to make it to the next round, meaning Mexico and Uruguay should easily make it into the quarterfinals, somewhat easing the pain for Uruguay, given its ignominious performance versus Mexico.