I had chills just thinking what the atmosphere must have been like during the England vs Argentina game in the 1986 World Cup, and I thought back to my shared student house in Southampton where, along with my long-time room mates, I watched Maradonna steal (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbbsytHDp2o) and then charm back (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rW-lK9F6TU) the 1986 World Cup in one game, with a puffing Peter Reid far behind. Bracewell would have caught Maradonna but alas was unfit ... ifs, buts and maybes ...
Overall, the USA game was a fairly drab and routine "FIFA Day International Friendly" (yawn) for the most part; some flashes of interest from the Mexico left and right midfielders, but nothing of note except Chicarrito being offside (as usual) and Howard making some good saves in both halves.
Throughout the game, the atmosphere was great, although nothing like the local derby game between Pumas and Club America I attended in March, and the crowd reached a frenzy at the half-time, when some or all of Mexico's Gold Medal winners being trotted out at half-time to rapturous applause, some fireworks and a never ending stream of Tannoy eulogies that I didn't even try to understand.
However, the rapture that this medal celebration gave Mexico (inclding newspapers and TV these last weeks) reminds me that in the UK and even more so in the USA, people take winning for granted, make it an expectation, and feel let down when their star athletes show themselves to be human (cf USA gymnast last week in the individual ladies competition). Really, we should treasure the effort that goes into it, enjoy all that qualify, not vilify those that fail, and finally of course celebrate the successes and sweet moments that arise out of human endeavour.
To be brutal, both Donovan and Chicarrito were very disappointing, the latter more so because he was not replaced at half_time ...
The second half was punctuated by one moment of class from USA, to score the winning goal, which really transcended the rest of the game (barring Tim Howard's two great saves), and which at the time seemed unfair given Mexico's possession (and the fact that I was surrounded by 75,000 Mexico fans and two USA fans).
However, in retrospect, and in context of what Mexico actually did of note in the game, which was not very much, just like the USA, then perhaps the USA is deserving of this historic victory, their first against Mexico on Mexican soil.
In the end, this loss took only a very tiny bit of lustre from Mexico's warm and endearing afterglow, after winning the Association Football Gold Medal in the 2012 London Olympics last week. Viva Mexico!
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908 Posted 18/08/2012 at 02:34:05
There are no "friendlies" against the Mexicans. The small contingent of USMNT fans here in America understood the importance of this victory. We've never, ever won in that Hell-hole of a stadium.
No matter how uninspiring the performance, it was a huge win for America.
The Mexicans have the momentum in this region of the world. But the USMNT just sent a message - not so fast my amigos, not so fast.
I think the Concacaf region with USA and Mexico could surprise a hell of a a lot of people in Brazil.
Then again, until they actually do something, they still need to prove they can.
If Mexico and the US were stocks, you'd be wise to buy.
909 Posted 18/08/2012 at 02:47:23
Besides almost all players from the US-Mexico "hate" era of 10-12 years ago are gone. Watched LD the other night helping up Mexican players he'd cut down and patting them on their heads and they accepting it and moving on. Even as recent as just before WC 2010 neither would have happened.
And on the Landon front. He's all but announced he's done with MLS while the Kaka to Galaxy talk still hasn't abated. Wouldn't be surprised they pass each other crossing the Atlantic come January.
122 Posted 18/08/2012 at 19:48:16
From the source of all knowledge: "Currently, ozone and other air pollutants rank at about the same level as Los Angeles.  This improvement in air quality was achieved, starting in the 1980s, through the Mexican government's requirement that gasoline be reformulated, that polluting factories be closed or moved, and that driver's be prohibited from using their car one day per week. More recently there has been an expansion of public transportation."
So yes there is still the altitude factor, although remember that Chicharito doesn't live at altitude either ... maybe that's why he missed two or three good chances.
212 Posted 19/08/2012 at 05:44:41
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