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How did the start of World Cup qualifying go for either team?
For Costa Rica, they couldn’t find a way to sneak past a defensive Panama on Thursday night through a 0-0 away draw.
As for Mexico, they also had some issues on their home ground but were ultimately able to pull off a narrow 2-1 win against Jamaica.
The margins might be narrow here, but in reality, Costa Rica suffered much more than Mexico.
Realistically speaking, Mexico’s roster easily exceeds whatever Costa Rica have to offer as well.
Let’s dive into those latest (and first) World Cup qualifying games for Mexico and Costa Rica.
Looking over at Costa Rica, they were underwhelming with their defensive approach against Panama in the 0-0 result.
Although they were away, more was expected from the Central American squad that couldn’t find a single shot on target.
As for Mexico, things were a bit different.
They might have struggled in the 1st half, but by the 2nd, they took charge in the eventual 2-1 win over Jamaica earlier this week.
Most importantly though, they have a number of alternates sitting on their bench that could step up this weekend.
Depth might actually be the name of the game when it comes to World Cup qualifying.
With a busy schedule that now has teams facing three games in a matter of seven days, alternate options are now a sudden priority.
Luckily for Mexico, manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino has a wealth of choices.
After putting some fringe names into his XI against Jamaica, Martino could now place star players like Orbelin Pineda, Andres Guardado, and Uriel Antuna into the XI this weekend.
While looking at Costa Rica, their best might have already been on display in their latest draw.
When looking at the average age of Costa Rica’s recent starting XI, it’s interesting to note that it clocked in at 29.1 for their game against Panama.
It isn’t a concrete criticism for the side, but at the very least in the start of World Cup qualifying, it is a worrisome fact for a team that needs to develop a new generation.
Costa Rica are relying on older names.
And while these veterans can become invaluable in games like World Cup qualifying, it’s tough to say that they will be able to confidently claim three points against a team like Mexico.
Getting a victory outside of your home turf can be a challenge in Concacaf.
With different stadiums, turfs and arduous travel times, the challenge can be a hopeless one during World Cup qualifying.
That said, unlike six of the other seven teams involved in Concacaf’s octagonal process for Qatar 2022, Mexico have claimed a win in all of the home grounds of their opponents.
Securing three points against Costa Rica wasn’t too far in the past either. Back in 2012, Mexico were able to earn a 2-0 away win.
Could they do it again this weekend?
|Costa Rica vs Mexico Information|
|Teams||Costa Rica vs Mexico|
|Location||Estadio Nacional (San Jose, Costa Rica)|
|Time||Sunday, September 5th at 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET|
|How to Watch||Telemundo|
Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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