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Mexico Have Shocked The Hosts Of The Copa America

After a lackluster display against Bolivia in their first match of the Copa Amerca, Mexico’s “B” team had little to be optimistic about coming into a tough match against host Chile. The Chileans, one of the favorites of the tournament, were also the favorites of the match between the two. La Roja had just come off a 2-0 win in their first match against Ecuador and are the host of the tournament. They had all the support in the world and the momentum to pull off a win, but Mexico surprised everyone. With Matias Vuoso and Raul Jimenez leading the line, the team put in a performance that many did not expect.

Mexico surprised everyone, fighting it out with Chile till the last second of the match. Credit to both teams, they both put in one of the most entertaining performances of the competition, a 3-3 back and forth match where we saw everything: a hatful of goals, fighting spirit from both sides, comebacks, and controversy. It has to be the best match so far in the 2015 Copa America. Fans in El Estadio Nacional Julio Martinez Pradanos, in Santiago de Chile, were given a treat of match.

Chile has shown it’s taking every match seriously in la Copa. They have to. As the host country, Chileans are hoping to see their countrymen go far in a tournament they have yet to win, and as hosts this year, this might be their year. Winning their first match against Ecuador gave them reason to believe, and with Mexico sending a “B” team to the Copa, well, Chile arguably should have won.

Who would have doubted their ability to do so with Coach Jorge Sampaoli sending out a strong lineup that consisted of Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez, Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, Inter midfielder Gary Medel and Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. It would have been tough to gamble in favor of Mexico getting a result, but Mexico might have just a lot more faith after their display against Chile.

In the matches leading up to their clash against Chile, the question for Mexico had always been: where are the goals? Eduardo Herrera and Matias Vuoso both started against Bolivia but had failed to find goals. In this match, Raul Jimenez started ahead of Herrera and it gave Mexico a bit more spark in offense, with strike partner Vuoso making it rain goals for Mexico. The first goal came in the 21st minute with Vuoso tapping in a squared ball by Juan Medina. Mexico started off absorbing pressure by Chile and eventually managed to settle into the match, countering with determination. This strategy that worked well for Mexico and got them the first goal. Too bad it didn’t last.

Chile pulled back level a minute later through a great corner. Vidal sprung higher than his marker to head into the left hand corner. That sparked the match to life and after a few tussles in midfield, Mexico was ahead once again. This time, though, thanks to Raul Jimenez, who headed the ball into the corner of the net. Mexico’s lead lasted a little longer this time, but once again Chile was eager to get back into the match, with Sampaoli’s men dominating possession in midfield. Mexico relied heavily on counters. Using the pace of Tecatito to get up the field. With 2 minutes away from the end of the 1st half, Chile’s Edu Vargas lit up the Santiago stadium with a goal from a Vidal cross. Both teams went back to the dressing room after the 1st half with two goals.

The second half started similarly, with Mexico threatening from the start and with Chile slowly regaining their dominance. This time, though, it was Chile who went ahead with a penalty goal scored by Arturo Vidal. Vidal earned the penalty himself; Mexico’s Flores had no reason to trip him. For the first time in the match Chile led, and with their possession, it was hard to believe that Mexico could get another goal. They did just that. Vuoso beat both Chile defenders, Jara and Albornoz, to tie the match for Mexico. The result stayed till the very end, even with two controversial calls by the referee. Chile had scored twice, once through Valdivia and another time through Alexis, but both goals were deemed offsides by the referee. Both teams fought hard till the very end. Group A is proving to be one of the most exciting groups of the tournament.

Mexico proved that underdogs can do big things in this tournament and will head to their next match confident they can get a result. With the 3-3 result, Mexico is in 3rd place in Group A with 2 points. Ahead of them are Chile with 4 points and Bolivia with 4 points. They need to win their match against Ecuador on Friday to make it into the next round. After this heroic performance by El Tri, there’s every reason to believe they can do it.

In a press conference after the match, El Piojo voiced his belief that they can make it to the next round. “The team has a very good attitude, We were better in the first half than in the second. We had enormous errors on their goals, but Mexico showed today that it can do big things. In the last match, we’ll play to win to get to the next round.” What will happen next in Group A? Don’t miss their last group stage match on Friday against Ecuador. Mexico vs. Ecuador will be played 5:00 p.m. ET, 3:00 p.m. MST. and Chile will play Bolivia later that same day.

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