Expectations, Curiosities, Handshakes, Dj’s and Blankets… It’s all about Football!

Hello !

The weekend is here, I was waiting for it so bad!…  It’s going to be a busy weekend, most European leagues are back after the International break, so the local battles are back too, lots of games and points to fight or defend and for some records to break. It should be interesting and hopefully fun!

Before submerge into the deep waters of the European league – ohh the ocean, with this cold weather I really miss you- but that’s not the point, back to submerge into the deep waters of every league lets look at some curious, funny and sometimes weird images and moments that this International break left us;

The Messi- Ronaldo show…

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Let’s start with the highly anticipated friendly between Argentina and Portugal  at Old Trafford, which for everyone it was a Messi vs Crisstiano Ronaldo match, everyone expected them to play at their best, to challenge each other and to try to prove who is the best of the World… They only played one half and for many they weren’t  that impressive, it was one of those “expectations were higher than reality” kind of moment.

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Anyhow what was interesting and funny was to see the incredible attention to every detail, move  or interaction both player had before, during and after the match :0, pictures, photos or analysis of how they look at each others, how strong was the handshake, who smile more, and many more things of that nature, it was just crazy but so enjoyable!!

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And this story is to be continued…. 😉

The name game, Casillas or Casilla??

I know this is silly but it’s funny too, if for some reason during the match between Spain and Germany you missed the moment when Iker Casillas was substituted by Kiko Casilla you probably would have thought at some point, wait, what happened?, did the commentators are missing the “s” in Iker’s last name, but then you would have look at the TV and at Spain’s goalkeeper and think he doesn’t look like Casillas at all, unless you are familiar with La Liga which most of you probably are, but for the ones that are not, know that there is an Iker Casillas and a Kiko Casilla (no “s” at the end) and both are goalkeepers. Haa!! It can be confusing at times… Or maybe just anecdotic!

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The weird note…

Goes to Xabi Alonso and his comments about Neuer being the best goalkeeper by far that he has ever played with,  emphasis in the “by far”, and how he deserves the Ballon d’or because he won the World Cup with Germany and the whole he is the best goalkeeper, comments that have created a big fuss because he just left Real Madrid and the comments are considered for some a direct attack o lack of support for Iker Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo, of course you can support your new teammate but for many these comments are a little bit out of time or place, but hey he is free to express his opinion I guess, but oh boy he really stir the waters up!

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The sad news;

There are many player that get injure during the International break when playing with their national team, so we wish them all a speedy recovery, specially to Luka Modric, he will be out around three-months according to the latest report. Get well soon Luka!

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The introduction;

Let me introduce you to the Euro 2016 “Mascot”

Let’s conclude in our side of the pond;

Hard to understand if Mexico players  were getting ready to play or to have a pajama party! haha… They were trying to stay warm in this cold weathers! I like that they are kind of coordinated, and so into plaid! Fashion alert!!

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The USA probably needed some blankets after their lost 1-4 vs Ireland, and most probably in need of a serious pajama party after picking the ball up from their goal fourth times! 😦 Ouch!

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Let’s closed it with a famous DJ!! David Guetta wearing the Colombia national team jersey, a gift from James with an Instagram messages included!

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I’m bulletproof, nothing to lose
Fire away, fire away
Ricochet, you take your aim
Fire away, fire away…

I bet you started to sing… I did! 🙂

By the way if you are planning to watch the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the last race of the Formula 1 season and the battle for the championship between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg enjoy and I’ll probably be tweeting  during the race, I’ve been following F1 for some years now, but this season I’ve been so involved, that I am nervous  to know who will be the champion :O and I love it!!

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Thank you for reading and stopping by, feel free to leave any comment. What do you think about the whole Xabi Alonso comments situation? or Who is the best Messi or CR7? Ha… Also we can talk on twitter, you can fin me @MonikJHerrera

Have a great weekend!!

Besitos !

Pictures thanks to As.com, Marca.com. Deportestelemundo.com, Univisiondeportes.com, goal.com and BBCSport.com

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Hand full… of emotions at the World Cup.

Hola!!

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Sunday football!!!

The fourth day of actions at the World Cup has ended, so far it has been an incredible tournament, full of great football stunning moments and surprises. Overall great first days, and this is just  the beginning,

Group E and F made their debut this past Sunday, first it was Switzerland vs Ecuador, then France vs Honduras and we ended the day with  the marquee match of the day; Argentina vs Bosnia-Heregovina. And that led us to one of the big questions; Is Messi ready to be the star of this World Cup?

We would find out in the next four weeks! But before talking about Sunday’s games, it’s time to review some of the events of past days…

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“Oh My God”, this is the expression that I’ve been using describe the past days. We already covered the Opening ceremony and first day of actions with Brazil wining their game, referee controversy included… So let’s move on.

This is how Day two went down:

If I try to find words that would describe  what happen on day two of the World Cup, these are very appropriate to what we witness: Incredible, Unbelievable and Surprising.

Good Vibes

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Mexico left good vibes in their first match, a lot of people expected them to struggle more base on the awful qualifying process they had, remember they made it to play-off only thanks to that U.S goal, and barely made it to Brazil’s plane. Miguel Herrera Mexico’s head coach has done a great job, the team not only  looked good on the pitch but they also score and won their game, even when the referees had a different plan for them. Two disallowed goals for the Mexican team, both were legal and should have counted in the final score.  Well the good thing for Mexico was that they didn’t let those bad calls impact their game and concentration, into the second half Oribe Peralta scored the 1-0 for them and somehow fix the embarrassment that were the referees decisions.  Final result. Mexico 1-0 Cameroon and the 3 points. They closed Group A actions.

This is how this Group looks after first Matches.

Group A 1st match

The Debacle;

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Later that day it was time for the defending champions to take the pitch in the debut of Group B,  and Ohh. My. God!!!!  You wouldn’t believe what was happening unless you were watching it, it was like being in a parallel world.  Spain vs The Netherlands, a rematch of 2010 World Cup final, Holland a chance of revenge from their  2010 final defeat.  People say revenge is better served on a cold plate, well that’s how the whole Spanish team and country felt after the final whistle, Frozen, and not we couldn’t Let it Go… 😉

Spain started well, playing like Spain, they were controlling the midfield, the pace and possession, they were awarded with a penalty kick after Costa felt inside the box, a bit controversial nonetheless but anyhow Xabi Alonso scored to put La Roja up 1-0 and at that moment it was business as usual and nobody even imagined what was coming; the Debacle… It all started with Robin Van Persie’s flying header, a play that has earned him a new nickname “The Flying Dutch” 😉 hehe… It was an incredible goal, and so far the best in the tournament, and on top of that it was a game changer for The Netherlands.  We went into half time thinking oh boy Van Persie and Van Gaal needed to practice the high-five, or avoid it at all…

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Fail High-Five hehe

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The teams came back to the pitch to start the second half and then the most surprising thing happened; The Spanish Meltdown, it was hard to watch, first Robben scored a nice goal and left the Spanish defense in confusion, and apparently they couldn’t get out of that stage, what a revenge from Robben, we all remember he missed two good chances in last World Cup final, and one of those misses could have given them the championship, a hard feeling to overcome, but I guess four years kind of give you the time to not only overcome those moments but to come back and crush your  rivals.

The third  goal was the beginning of Iker Casillas’ nightmare and worst performance in his career, the goal came from a fault that Stefan Vrij finish with a header,  he missed  it on the air, ok we can argue he was fault by Van Persie which I think he was, but anyway Vrij scored, then the fourth was an awful mistake, those that you never thought Casillas was capable of doing, but he is human…

I meant he made a hugh error in the Champions League final , we all saw it, it was bad but it was kind of bad decision to go on the air, but the fourth goal in this match, he just gave the ball to Van Persie, completely out of focus and bizarre, like one of those football bloopers we have seeing before from other less experience goalkeepers, I felt so bad, I am softy and he has been an incredible goalkeeper, for many years he was the best and his resume is more than impressive, so seeing him in that .situation was so  sad and incredible weird. Robben made the fifth goal to kill the Spanish team, Worst lost of a current Champion in World Cup history.

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 Spain have been in this situation before, they lost their first game on 2010 World Cup, but this time was different, not only they lost the match but they lost it  by five goals and the way they play that second half it just impossible to explain, they couldn’t respond when they were down and couldn’t find an answer or a way to come back, awful defense, Ramos and Pique were completely lost, and the whole team was slow and without that hunger to fight until the last-minute.

All the media in Spain are still trying to find out the answer to the million dollar question, what happened?

Some of those answers go from this is the end of an era, it’s time to renew the team and make some big changes, some players already hit their national team clock, or they have won everything that they might not have the same desire to keep wining, to the less football relate answers like it was the climate, training in a cold weather and playing in hot conditions, among other not relate answers.

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The truth is that they play bad football (soccer) in that second half,  lack concentration, tiredness, less hunger or whatever you want to called it, it was a humiliating lost for them and it would be interesting to see if they can comeback from this defeat, I certainly would like to see it, for the good of their legacy, you can’t end an era in such an awful way.

On the other hand, The Netherlands got their revenge even if they said they didn’t want that, you can see it, they really wanted to change the image they left in that final (I called them ninjas in my 2010 World Cup final post) and well…. Mission accomplished, they left a good impression, very organized, great strategy from Van Gaal and great performance from their team powerful players, Van Persie, Robben, Sneijder and company.

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As expected, not so much;

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Last match of day two, was Chile vs Australia, the result was according to what people expected but it wasn’t an easy win for Chile,  the Socceroos as the Australia national team are known, gave them a good fight, Tim Cahill who plays for the NY Red Bulls scores the goal that equalized the match before Chile took the advantage, not before struggling with some plays from the Australian team. Final score Chile 3-1 Australia, wasn’t as easy as the result might reflect. This match closed the actions of group B.

This is how Group B looks after first match.

Group B 1st match

Overall it was a day full of emotions, believe me I was exhausted at the end and still in disbelief of what had happened to Spain but happy for an incredible tournament,  this is why we love the World Cup, crazy and surprising things can happen at any time, dreams are accomplish and sadly some are crush. To think that these are only the first matches is very promising and we all hope that the level of the competition will only  increase…

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What do you think about Spain, what can the do to fix this, Del Bosque should bench Iker or what changes he needs to do, if you have any idea let me know in the comments, or on twitter @MonikJHerrera  I like to tweet a lot haha. ;0 my secret weakness…

Thanks for reading! I hope you are enjoying this World Cup as much as I am haha, I am loving it so far, a lot of quality, lots of goals, emotional games, celebration and colorful stadiums… we can not ask for more, or maybe 😉

I leave you with some of the curious, funny or weird pictures of the day two of the World Cup!

See you soon!

Besitos!

Pictures thanks to Marca.com, FIFA.com, and random pictures on Twitter and Tumblr.com

Holy Moly Guacamole! … World Cup 2014!

Hello Y’all!!

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It’s been a couple of days, I guess I can’t say that thee excitement of the Hex was the reason…. I’m bad at making excuses ;( hehe **shame on me**

But truth to be told that was a hell of a hexagonal in CONCACAF…. It’s all over, well kind of, the hexagonal stage is definitely over, three team are happily packing their dreams to Brazil!! Congrats to the USA, Costa Rica and Honduras for getting their direct ticket, no stopover in between yeyy!!

The hex was so emotional and crazy at the same time, no matter what team you were supporting it got so crazy and dramatic. Hey some people say that our region shouldn’t have that many seats in the World Cup plane to put it in a way, something you can agree or not, it’s up for debate, yeah we agree that not all teams might have the quality of some European and South American teams but holy moly guacamole, we know how to create drama!!

I bet they don’t have this much fun and craziness as we had lol….

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The last games in the hexagonal were as emotional as expected, actually for some were too emotional, with Mexico in the position to win their game to make it to the playoff, with a Panama that believed in their options and was hoping for a miracle…. And ohh boy they were so close… it was all serve for a dramatic and craziest ending in CONCACAF history.

This was the scenario, Mexico didn’t do their part, in fact they play an awful game, and in the last minutes of the match they were losing 1-2, at that moment they were out of the  world cup, Panama had pulled a momentaneous comeback and was wining their game 2-1 which meant they were heading to New Zealand for the playoff. The faces in Mexico’s team were a mix of desperation and pain, you can see they were praying to every Saint in heaven and they were looking at the Panama- USA game more than at their own game, the hopes at that point were in the archrivals the Americans!

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And the “American dream” came true for all Mexican’s, when the USA scored two goals in the last three minutes of the stoppage time against Panama, killing the Panamanians dreams with a 2-3 win, and giving one more life and one more chance to Mexico… Those moments are pure Football history, at least for me, that was insane, the nervousness, the passion, the dreams it was unbelievable….

So we all can agree that Mexico should be now and forever grateful with the USA team for their sportsmanship and respect of the game, they fight it till the end, while Mexico was a small version of the Gigantic they have preached to be…. Most Announcers in the Hispanic TV are from Mexico, so even watching the game and listen that silence when they were out of the WC was a historic moment, yeah you read it right, I listened silence!  lol… ( metaphorical, I’m not crazy, at least not at that level lol) but all changed after USA score the wining goal for their team, Mexico was alive again!

Here is an example of how all Mexico fans came back from hell to life, this are the Announcers of TV Azteca, a Mexican TV Channel. You can listen their excitement and their profound disappointment in their national team!

Anyway it is what it is, I said it in my twitter while watching  and following both games, it was insane, and still Mexico got a free life,  like in those videogames, I think they got their miracle! They are like  cats, I don’t know how many lives they have or in which of those lives they are now, but Holy, they have been saved by the bell too many times by now lol.

If I would have been in Mexico I probably would have bought me a lottery ticket, just saying to take that luck with me!

So now it will be define on November, they will play their two live or die game vs New Zealand, one in Azteca stadium and the other as visitors and we will see… but that’s a story for another day!

What is sad to watch always is the cruel side of the game, the loosing team, the dreams going away, that always break my heart, Panama’s players crying, I am a softy, what can I do…  But great Sportsmanship from the U.S Team, this is football too, this is why it is a beautiful game too!

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And there is also the funny moments that comes with this whole drama, well immediately after the final whistle and the craziness was over the taunts and jokes started, you have to loosen up a bit to be able to laugh…

The U.S Soccer twitter account started when they post one of the most memorable tweet in sport history.

And here are some of the funniest ones… hehe


Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, and let me know if you think Mexico will finally make it to Brazil?

Besitos!

Pictures from usatoday.com, theguardian.com, google.com

Brazil 2014 in the making!

Hello y’all!!

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Brazil is shaping up!!

That is what I have to say today, and I am so happy  like a kid in a candy or an ice cream store lol…

Yeah today is World Cup Qualifying day, most countries will know or already know if they will pack their bags to Brazil or If they will have to make another stop in between and try it again in a play-off scenario and for some others this would be a “maybe for the next WC” I am so sorry for this last ones… I feel your pain!

At this moment 6:48 pm in New York City 18 counties have a beautiful and precious direct ticket to Brazil!!

So far here are the ones that already qualified;

Teams WC

Some Notes;

  • Spain sealed their ticket today, they will try to keep the Cup for another four years, they are the current Champions, we will see if they can repeat the greatest achievement in football!
  • England also got their ticket early today, with a bit of suspense before the game, but everyone expected them to win and qualify for Brazil!
  • The eight top seeds in the next World Cup will be base on the latest FIFA rankings, so far for sure; Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Belgium and Switzerland, the last two seed spots are still yet to be determinate, we will have to wait until the results for the pending games to be play in our side of the pond!

But don’t get confuse we still have some drama…. Things are pretty much decided in Europe, some teams will have to go to a play-off draw and try to get a ticket there. :/

The European play-off;

  •  Croatia, Portugal, Greece, Ukraine, France, Sweden, Romania, Iceland.

We have to wait to see who else from the Americas or other continents will have to go to play-off.

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In our side of the continent, the drama is for Mexico who will find out today after all if they will have a chance to keep the hopes up for Brazil or If they will say good-bye, they have options, after wining their last game in El Azteca against Panama,  as of now they have a ticket to the play-off but we will have to wait.

The team is confident, they are playing vs Costa Rica, already qualified, Panama is still with options, it will be difficult for them but things are a bit open so we will have to wait, and yes maybe some nails biting  and some hair ripping in the process… not me, but if your country is still with options you might not be able to avoid the biting nails and hair thing hehe… don’t worried I can give you some tips to recover, I know about that ;/

Anyways, lets’ enjoy this journey again, this it’s almost done and we are going to be ready for Brazil 2014!!!!

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Thanks for reading, I hope your team or country is moving on, if not, well, do what I do, pick a bunch of other countries and try your prediction skills lol… The good news is that we love this game!! Football or soccer whatever way you called it!

Besitos!

Pictures thanks to Google.com, FIFA.com and concacaf.com

Get your passport and tickets ready…. destiny Brazil 2014!!

Hello ♥s!!

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Yep we are going to places!! lol…. Some teams already got their tickets to the hottest place and the most excited adventure in football World next year, and I meant Football soccer, so no I was not talking about New York/ New Jersey Super Bowl, I was talking about a much bigger scenario, nations have been fighting with their hearts, minds and bodies to get there, yes you got it now… Brazil 2014, THE WORLD CUP!!

Now that we are starting to see more teams getting their direct tickets with non stops in between, the feeling and emotions are increasing too… Can’t wait! But according to my blog countdown we went from nine months to eight months now! One less!! Wohooo…

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Costa Rica's Brenes celebrates his goal against Jamaica with teammates during their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match in Kingston

In our side of the map, in our region the qualifiers were as expected emotional,  with a happy ending for two out of the six team playing the hexagonal, the USA and Costa Rica are ready to get their passport stamped and it will says Brazil! Good for them, they did an amazing job, the Hex is not over yet but mathematically they are classified for the World Cup, kudos to them, they will not suffer the anxiety that it is trying to get that last spot or to at least get into that 4th place that would give a hope to get a chance to dance Samba in the place where everyone knows what Samba is and how to dance it! lol

The games last week were very emotional for different reasons depending on who you were supporting, The Red, White and Blue had a great game with a needed Mexican team, they both needed the win, but with two different feelings, the U.S was looking to booked their plane seat to Brazil and Mexico was trying to stay alive and with options.

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Mexico visited the USA in Columbus, with an incredible turnout and support for U.S fans, this was great to watch, it is something we are not used to see in U.S soil, but happily is something that we are starting to see more often and I hope it will continue that way!  Anyways back to Mexico, they came with a new coach after Chepo was fired, Jose Tena’s mission was to win this game and keep the hopes alive, but he was not lucky, first base on previous encounters in Columbus, the result in latest games played there have been 2- 0 in favor of the bars and stars, so you have that and if you add a team that is not in their best mind-set, fiscally and emotional under a lot of pressure well it was a difficult mission… And we all saw it, the result was once again a “dos a cero” as the whole stadium chanted and let us know just in case we weren’t looking at the board lol…

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So I think out of the six team playing the Hexagonal, Mexico is the one that has surprised us the most, because of their history, because of what they meant to the region, the rest of the teams still fighting for a ticket, Honduras, Jamaica and Panama  they know they might have a chance, but historically they are not expected to be there every WC, like Mexico, they have missed one due to suspension and beside that one they have been in there all the time therefore the surprise….

So yes it’s a big disappointment, and base on the fact that Tena who was on an interim basis was replaced  just after one game you can feel the pressure and the rush,  Honduras in holding the third place with a direct ticket, Mexico  is fith and in the hopes for a miracle they hire a new coach Victor Manuel Vucetich to see if he can be the savior that could lead them at least to the fourth place that would get then not to Brazil, but to New Zealeand in November to fight for a chance to Brazil…

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The good news for them is that despite still needing a miracle,  the results of the other games played last week still make it possible for them to hold on to that hope, mathematically they still have a change but most likely they will be hoping for that fourth spot… let’s see how it would turn out, they only have two matches left in CONCACAF qualifier.

Aside from Mexico real drama… for Costa Rica and the USA was all celebration, well deserved it!

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Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think?  You think Mexico will make it to the WC? Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Have a great week!

Besitos!

Pictures thanks to USsoccer official facebook page, nacion.com and deportes.terra.com.ar, gif from google.com and US celebration video from YouTube user: Pablo Maurer

Dramaaaaa!! Who will survive… Brazil is waiting!!

Hello y’all!!

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Some people have asked me since I am Latin living in the U.S, and it is well known that most Hispanic channels here have this great among of soap operas or as we call them novelas, and they have asked me if I watch them, and I always says no, I watch a lot of sports and some series… But now that I think about it, I really don’t miss the drama of a novela, I get plenty of that just  by watching Football soccer lol!!

Most leagues are on breaks due to the World Cup qualifications, this is almost done, we are almost ready to find out who will be at the best and most important scenario of this sport! We are in the last run of the Qualifiers and this is getting sooo dramatic!!

Las Friday was surprising and crazy… see I don’t need more drama… And I didn’t even need to look across the pond in our side we have more drama than what we have expected…

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First this dates of games, the ones played last Friday and the ones schedule for today are very important in the aspiration of all the teams playing the Hexagonal, for some this is a chance to still have options and for some others is a chance to almost if not seal their ticket direct to Brazil 2014, so yes the pressure is high which means that it can go either way sometimes and it can produce incredible surprises in a good and for some in a worst way, if not you can ask Chepo de la Torre, former Mexican national coach…

I’m going to talk a bit about the surprises because they just took today’s game to another level of drama and emotions.

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First the USA faced Costa Rica as visitors, the Ticos wanted some kind of revenge for the last game they played in U.S soil under the snow, which in their opinion was not fair and should have been cancelled, and if you add that they were second in the qualification board just under the U.S this meant that a win for then will put them on top and closer to Brazil… The USA had a 13th wining streak before this game and I think everyone was a little overconfident that wining in Costa Rica land was going to be difficult but doable…

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In this game as in many others probably,  nothing is certain until the balls starts to roll and until the last whistle is blow, so the surprise was not only the final result, but the poor performance the bars and starts showed at the beginning of the game, they were down 2-0 early, then after a penalty they were able to reduce the distance to be 2-1 and then we saw a little bit of what they are used to do, moving the ball, controlling it and having more options, it looked like they were closer to tied the game but Costa Rica was all heart, determination and effectiveness, one counterattack and they made it 3-1 which was practically over for the U.S team. It was a surprise because we expected a more balance game from the U.S, and they have shown a different style of playing, 13th victories in a row, the three goals felt a lot for what they have had been doing the past months, but all credit to Los Ticos, they play with their hearts, they had great elements to control the game and they were very effective!  They finish on top of the qualification and today they might be getting their ticket to Brazil soon… (Can I join them? pretty please??)

 mexhon1_crop_650x440After that set back for the USA we heard about the big surprise of that day, I mean it is big not only for what it meant that day but what it means today to, Mexico was playing Honduras in the Azteca stadium, which was full capacity and that stadium have been a forte for the Mexican team, wining there has been practically impossible for many teams, and it’s one of the strength for Mexico, so of course we all expected that they will get a victory or at least some point there in their home, Mexico has been struggling the whole WC Qualifications, I never understood how they didn’t let go Chepo de La Torre sooner, I think they waited too much and let’s see if they wont have to pay the price for that.

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Everything started somehow normal for the Mexicans, they got up 1-0 which we thought everything is going according to the book, but then they complicated themselves, and Honduras played a good game and made what everyone thought was impossible in three minutes they changed everything and went from a 1-0 down to a 2-1 up, and voila you have what the media called an Aztecazo which means the biggest surprise, it doesn’t happen very often and for sure it happened in the worst time for the Mexican Team, that result sent them to the fourth position which means they will have to play with an European country for a spot in Brazil, if they remain in that position but they can face the worst scenario too which means no World Cup at all… Something that for Mexico will be an epic failure…

At the end Chepo was fired, my only thought was “finally”, I think they hold up to him for too long and he never found a way to really take the team back to their usual being, Mexico has been one if not the top team in the region, so for them being in this dangerous position is more than surprising is just a real drama, not only for the player, the media and the national team organization but for a whole country that live this sport with their hearts and love their national team with pure love…

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Now in a couple of minutes they have to play as visitors vrs the USA, with a new head coach Luis Fernando Tena, for them it’s simple they need to win, but the U.S also needs to win to get closer to be mathematical qualified for Brazil, so this game it is going to be interesting, a bit nerve racking for Mexico and excited for all… So we will be watching the game with an eye in the other results and by the end of the night we will know if the drama will  be less or if it can become a nightmare for some teams…

So let’s see what will happen, for sure it’s going to be entertaining…

Thanks for reading and let know what you think??

Besitos!

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