Some quick thoughts on today’s Brazil v. Mexico game in Dallas, which Mexico won 2-0 thanks to goals by Giovani dos Santos and a penalty by Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.
(1) Mexico played Brazil off the park. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, that it was the referee, the youth of the Brazilian team, etc. Mexico won fair and square.
(2) The key to Mexico’s victory was that they put pressure on the Brazilian flanks and stopped any kind of dangerous wide play. Danilo couldn’t get down the right flank and neither could Marcelo, effectively, though he did a better job than Danilo. Mexico did exactly what France did in the 1998 World Cup final by pressuring the flanks and threatening on the counter-attack.
(3) Neymar looked tired. Yes, he attempted to carry the team almost on his shoulders, toward the end, but he’s clearly playing too much football.
(4) Oscar is a gem. He drops back and helps in defense, and pops up on the left and right flanks as needed.
(5) Brazil are missing that killer, final pass in the last third of the park. Oscar does well to maintain possession but he can’t pick out attackers the way Ganso can.
(6) Brazil is not ready for the style in which Mano wants them to play. They don’t have that kind of 1970s talent or even talent that approaches 1998 and 2002. The ball moves through midfield too slowly. The real weakness of the team is the final switch from midfield to attack.
(7) The time for Muricy Ramalho or Joel Santana to take over the helm of the Selecao may be fast approaching.