MEXICAN FUTBOL By Don Caldwell

 

don caldwell

Don Caldwell

Most of you will be anxious to know how the Mexico-USA grudge match turned out,and too busy to look it up, so here is a report.

After a week of hype, capped off by more than two hours of frenzied pre-game coverage, Mexican fans were pumped by match time yesterday at noon. TVC Mexico – the equivalent of CBC without the subsidies, broadcast the match nationally. In their pre-game show (in classic CBC style) they recalled every humiliation Mexico had suffered at the hands of the Americans, including the 1840 military invasion and the illegal annexation of New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and California shortly afterwards.

There was a clip where two guys pretending to be presidents Bush and Fox respectively kibitzed about the impact the game would have on their relationship and (of course) showing Bush to be an even bigger klutz than he is.

A very foxy bareheaded female reported periodically from a speeding motorcycle on the traffic jams being caused by fans arriving at the stadium. Her state-of-the-art sunglasses and spectacular T-shirt and jeans gave no sign of Janet Jackson-esque failure in spite of the speed.

Three rather old (but clearly cherished) and over-fed sports reporters in shirts too tight for their figures reported directly from the field. They recalled the defeat Mexico had suffered at the hands of the USA team in Korea in 2002 and the Costa Rica upset at Azteca in 2001 and discussed the chances for their beloved “Tri-colors” in the match ahead including a detailed critic of the selection of players slated to start for Mexico. They patiently took calls from fans and generally agreed that Mexico should (better) win easily.

The match was set for noon (not by accident) and at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City – not by accident. The Azteca Stadium is 2 km high and holds 127 thousand. Mexico has suffered only one defeat ever in that venue – to Costa Rica. Noon was chosen to take advantage of the highest possible temperature and lowest possible air-quality in this smog laden city – in part to get even with the USA for staging the game, when they were hosts, in near-freezing Colorado temps.

The stadium was jammed with rabid fans waving flags, banners, shirts and noise makers. Their only interest was revenge. Well, there was a little area for about 50 very brave USA supporters behind one of the goals and well surrounded by security fence and armed guards. The question for fans that the TV station wanted answered was – “If Mexico wins today will you feel revenged?” Ten minutes into the game over 15,000 had responded by phone and e-mail with about 65% feeling that a win would indeed be sufficient revenge.

The match began more or less on time under the direction of a referee from El Salvador. It was like the beginning of a heavy weight fight with each team carefully feeling out the opponent. It had been expected that Mexico would come out fast and try to score quickly but for thirty minutes the play was tentative. This all ended when the Mexican forward Borgetti headed a beautiful cross from Lozano in to score in the 30th minute. The traditional long and breath challenging “GOOOOOOOOOOOL” from announcers and a collective sigh of relief could be heard all over this country. This was followed only three minutes later by a goal by Naelson giving the Mexicans a 2-0 lead. Before the half ended the Mexican coach was red-carded for complaining too much about the officiating and summarily ejected from the field – a bit unusual given that his team was ahead.

The USA team came out fast in the second half and Lewis scored early on. After that however it was all Mexico and you could see they were now out for blood. In the end however, in spite of many valiant tries and near misses, they could not manage to get the ball in the US goal and had to settle for the 2-1 win - satisfying but not too, too sweet. Nevertheless Mexican fans step more lightly today and can go back to work after two weeks of Easter Week celebrations feeling that the stars are indeed somewhat more correctly aligned.

More Futbol
Most of you will be anxious to know how the Mexico-USA grudge match turned out, and too busy to look it up, so here is a report.

After a week of hype, capped off by more than two hours of frenzied pre-game coverage, Mexican fans were pumped by match time yesterday at noon. TVC Mexico – the equivalent of CBC without the subsidies, broadcast the match nationally. In their pre-game show (in classic CBC style) they recalled every humiliation Mexico had suffered at the hands of the Americans, including the 1840 military invasion and the illegal annexation of New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and California shortly afterwards.

There was a clip where two guys pretending to be presidents Bush and Fox respectively kibitzed about the impact the game would have on their relationship and (of course) showing Bush to be an even bigger klutz than he is.

A very foxy bareheaded female reported periodically from a speeding motorcycle on the traffic jams being caused by fans arriving at the stadium. Her state-of-the-art sunglasses and spectacular T-shirt and jeans gave no sign of Janet Jackson-esque failure in spite of the speed.

Three rather old (but clearly cherished) and over-fed sports reporters in shirts too tight for their figures reported directly from the field. They recalled the defeat Mexico had suffered at the hands of the USA team in Korea in 2002 and the Costa Rica upset at Azteca in 2001 and discussed the chances for their beloved “Tri-colors” in the match ahead including a detailed critic of the selection of players slated to start for Mexico. They patiently took calls from fans and generally agreed that Mexico should (better) win easily.

The match was set for noon (not by accident) and at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City – not by accident. The Azteca Stadium is 2 km high and holds 127 thousand. Mexico has suffered only one defeat ever in that venue – to Costa Rica. Noon was chosen to take advantage of the highest possible temperature and lowest possible air-quality in this smog laden city – in part to get even with the USA for staging the game, when they were hosts, in near-freezing Colorado temps.

The stadium was jammed with rabid fans waving flags, banners, shirts and noise makers. Their only interest was revenge. Well, there was a little area for about 50 very brave USA supporters behind one of the goals and well surrounded by security fence and armed guards. The question for fans that the TV station wanted answered was – “If Mexico wins today will you feel revenged?” Ten minutes into the game over 15,000 had responded by phone and e-mail with about 65% feeling that a win would indeed be sufficient revenge.

The match began more or less on time under the direction of a referee from El Salvador. It was like the beginning of a heavy weight fight with each team carefully feeling out the opponent. It had been expected that Mexico would come out fast and try to score quickly but for thirty minutes the play was tentative. This all ended when the Mexican forward Borgetti headed a beautiful cross from Lozano in to score in the 30th minute. The traditional long and breath challenging “GOOOOOOOOOOOL” from announcers and a collective sigh of relief could be heard all over this country. This was followed only three minutes later by a goal by Naelson giving the Mexicans a 2-0 lead. Before the half ended the Mexican coach was red-carded for complaining too much about the officiating and summarily ejected from the field – a bit unusual given that his team was ahead.

The USA team came out fast in the second half and Lewis scored early on. After that however it was all Mexico and you could see they were now out for blood. In the end however, in spite of many valiant tries and near misses, they could not manage to get the ball in the US goal and had to settle for the 2-1 win - satisfying but not too, too sweet. Nevertheless Mexican fans step more lightly today and can go back to work after two weeks of Easter Week celebrations feeling that the stars are indeed somewhat more correctly aligned.

Don Caldwell

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