Comment and Analysis @ghostgoal
Mexico 1 Cameroon 0: Oribe Peralta, Rafael Marquez, Jose Juan Vazquez and Hector Herrera impress in victory
Mexico outplayed Cameroon in their Group A opener to earn a deserved 1-0 win on Friday evening. Adam Bate examines the stats and picks out four players who impressed...
Last Updated: 14/06/14 12:08am
With Giovani dos Santos having already seen two goals controversially disallowed, there could be little doubt that justice was done when Oribe Peralta stroked the ball home to secure the points for Mexico against Cameroon. Peralta's was one of a number of strong performances...
No wonder Javier Hernandez is sick of bench duty at Manchester United when he’s got Oribe Peralta to contend with at international level. The 30-year-old striker has now scored nine goals in his last seven competitive appearances for his country and it is easy to see why given the way he worked the Cameroon back line. The fact that he was involved in the build-up for the goal he finished off was typical of his movement and that willingness to continue his run reaped rewards. An impressive performance.
Key stat: Oribe Peralta had as many shots on target during his time on the pitch as all the other players combined.
Rafael Marquez rarely exceeded a stroll in his prime but it was still a joy to watch him conducting matters for Mexico. What he lacks in pace, the 35-year-old compensates for in savvy and decision making and his expert use of the ball helps makes sense of a system constructed with him in mind. While his partners in the back-three concentrated on keeping it simple with their passing, Marquez used his range of delivery to speed up the attack where possible. There’s life in this guy yet.
Key stat: Rafael Marquez’s 12 accurate long balls were more than twice as many as any other player.
Jose Juan Vazquez
Equally important for Mexico is the role of Jose Juan Vazquez in a midfield three that includes converted winger Andres Guardado. With Hector Herrera also prone to wander in search of an attacking breakthrough there is a huge onus on Vazquez to maintain the shape and provide a physical presence in the centre of the field. He competed well against Cameroon, making more tackles than any player on the pitch and – importantly – used it efficiently when he got hold of it.
Key stat: Jose Juan Vazquez’s 64 passes came at a completion rate of 94 per cent – the best of any Mexico player.
Arguably the most impressive player on the pitch, 24-year-old Hector Herrera was at the heart of Mexico’s best work. He produced a fine cross to set up Dos Santos early on only for the forward’s volley to be ruled out for offside and while there was no direct assist for the winner, it had the mark of Herrera all over it. Driving forward from midfield, he played a one-two with Peralta before threading a pass through to find Dos Santos whose shot was parried into Peralta’s path.
Key stat: Hector Herrera had as many dribbles as the rest of his team-mates put together.