Connect with us

Tactical Analysis

World Cup Tactical Analysis: Mexico 1-0 Cameroon

Well this World Cup certainly has had it’s fair share of controversy in the opening 2 matches but the two disallowed goals for Giovani dos Santos did not effect the outcome of this game ultimately and thus this is the last I will mention it. Ultimately a slightly above-average Mexico team beat out an absolutely ineffective Cameroon side and will be glad they came away with 3 points. Oribe Peralta grabbed the all-important goal for the Mexicans.

FORMATION & LINE-UPS

Mexico Cameroon Tactics

 

Mexico (5-3-2/ 3-5-2): Ochoa, Aguilar, Rodriguez, Marquez, Moreno, Layun, Herrera, Vazquez, Guardado  (Fabian 69’), Dos Santos, Peralta (Hernandez 78’)

Cameroon (4-3-3): Itandje, Djegoue (Nkounoue 45’), Nkoulou, Chedjou, Assou-Ekotto, M’Bia, Song (Webo 75’), Enoh, Moukandjo, Choupo-Moting, Eto’o

Goal: Peralta 61’

ANALYSIS

Mexico’s Passing

Mexico will be pleased the efficiency with which they controlled much of the game and passed the ball around, and ultimately through, Cameroon’s defense. Mexico initially found room on the flanks, especially on the left through Miguel Layun. However, they were unable to make any of this possession count, as many of their crosses were ineffective against a physically superior Cameroon defense.

Mexico Crossing (1)

Illustration via Squawka.com

However, once Mexico found that they could be more effective making runs between the center backs, they immediately exploited it. Several times they went straight through the middle of Cameroon’s defense including dos Santos’ disallowed goal and Peralta’s winner. The through balls proved to be the difference maker in the game.

 Lack of pressure on the ball from Cameroon

Cameroon will walk away from this game knowing that they did not do enough to win and although they fashioned a couple of half-chances, they did not do much to throw Mexico off of their game. Despite M’Bia having a solid game in the midfield, Song and Enoh did not hold the ball well. When Mexico had the ball, Cameroon’s 4-3-3 morphed into 2 banks, a back line of 5 and a midfield of 4, with Eto’o staying up top. They invited the pressure from Mexico on to them and rarely stepped up out of their defensive third to press the ball until they were already down a goal.

MORE READING | Interview with Mexican football expert, Nayib Moran, on the national team

The inability to break Mexico out of their comfortable style of play cost them the game. Mexico ended with a passing efficiency of 85% as a team and that speaks to the fact that not only were they allowed to pass the ball around but they were also in control for most of the game. Song and Enoh will be held responsible for the lack of physicality and pressure in the middle of the park.

Eto’o Isolated

Eto'o tries to play much of his football in and around the box, but as we can see there was not much activity in those areas (via Squawka)

Eto’o tries to play much of his football in and around the box, but as we can see there was not much activity in those areas (via Squawka)

Samuel Eto’o is Cameroon’s most recognizable player but he is a striker and as an out and out number 9, he cannot make things happen out of nothing. He needs service and thrives on creative players behind him creating opportunities, especially as he gets older. Eric Choupo-Moting and Benjamin Moukandjo were playing on the flanks on either side of Eto’o and neither was able to provide a telling cross or pass to the Chelsea striker. This seemed mainly due to the fact that Moukandjo and Choupo-Moting were dropping so deep defensively that when Cameroon did control the ball, it was easier for Assou-Ekotto to overlap offensively and almost all of Cameroon’s chances in the first half came through the QPR man. Without service, Cameroon will have another difficult group stage and they are certainly off to a poor start.

Mexico’s Vulnerabilities

It should be mentioned that despite dominating much of the match, Cameroon did have 13 shots. Eto’o skimmed the woodwork with one chance and Ochoa made a diving stop off a Moukandjo header deep into stoppage time. Mexico will need to be at their very best defensively and they do not look assured there, especially on set pieces. Cameroon created 9 chances in this game, which were actually 3 more than Mexico managed. They are vulnerable on the flanks, especially when Layun and Aguilar push forward. Assou-Ekotto was effective on the left flank for Cameroon and often put Mexico under pressure. His cross that saw Eto’o hit the woodwork should have been dispatched by the experienced striker. Watching the wide play of Neymar or Perisic for Brazil and Croatia respectively should have Miguel Herrera worried a bit.

BEST PLAYER

Giovani dos Santos. Having watched a lot of Mexico in CONCACAF Qualifying, I can say with some certainty that this was his best performance for them in a long time. Even with 2 goals being chalked off, he was Mexico’s most dangerous player in the final third and he should have had an assist when he put Peralta through on Itandje with a very tidy flick in the 48th minute. His shot was saved by Itandje that led to Mexico’s winner from Peralta. Otherwise, he was assured in possession and put in a good shift defensively as well. His tracking back was useful in breaking up Cameroon’s midfield play and allowed Mexico to see this game out. A close second would have been Vazquez at the heart of Mexico’s midfield but his give-away in stoppage time nearly led to a Cameroon equalizer.

WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE THEM

Mexico will clearly be very happy walking away with 3 points in their opening match. However, they still face quite an uphill battle in their group with Cameroon showing they are clearly the weakest side in Group A. Mexico face the hosts Brazil next and having seen Brazil dispatch a very good Croatia side, they will not enjoy the freedom of the park they enjoyed against the Africans.

As for Cameroon, they would have liked to at least get a point off of Mexico and having failed to do that, they can fully expect that their World Cup dream will end in the group stage, barring miracles against Brazil and Croatia.

Read all our World Cup content here.
Philip Baki

Philip Baki

US Army football enthusiast. Liverpool FC and Dynamo Dresden supporter. Manchester United, Chelsea and MLS hater. Written for Get Football News, Into The Top Corner and a member of the Two Red Gringos Podcast tworedgringos.podbean.com
Philip Baki

100 to Watch

Latest

Talent Radar10 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #6: Luka Jovic, Anthony Martial and Reiss Nelson feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Talent Radar11 months ago

Talent Radar: A-League’s 10 Young Players to Watch in 2018-19

Brian Bertie writes about the 10 young players to watch in this season’s A-League. Australia have made rapid strides forward...

Interviews11 months ago

Interview: Abneet Bharti on Indian footballers abroad

SU Sintrense defender, Abneet Bharti, the only Indian footballer to be plying his trade in Europe, talks to Kaustubh Pandey...

Talent Radar11 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #5: Matthias De Ligt & James Maddison feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions11 months ago

Borja Fernandez: The underappreciated genius of ISL’s infancy

On the eve of the latest edition of the ISL, Arinjay Ghosh pays a tribute to Borja Fernandez, an ISL...

Opinions11 months ago

Tactical Philosophy: Domenico Tedesco

While this website has made its name focusing on the lesser known youth of this beautiful sport, and combined it...

Tactical Analysis11 months ago

Liverpool 3-2 PSG: Liverpool edge deserved victory against dysfunctional PSG

Siyang Xu writes a detailed tactical analysis about the UEFA Champions League match that ended Liverpool 3-2 PSG. Liverpool faced...

Talent Radar11 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #4: Matthias De Ligt & Ousmane Dembele feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions11 months ago

UEFA Champions League: The 5 hipster sides to follow this season

Gear up with your organic ginger ale and mystical moustache oil, as Richard Pike briefs us about 5 off beat...

Talent Radar12 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #3: Maxi Gomez & Marco Asensio feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions12 months ago

Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Miles Olusina writes about Maurizio Sarri and the approach he is likely to take at Chelsea. Despite a successful 2016/17...

Talent Radar12 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #2: Joe Gomez & Bertrand Traore feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Talent Radar1 year ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #1: Joe Gomez & Kylian Mbappe feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions1 year ago

Julen Lopetegui at Real Madrid: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Aamer Aslam writes about what we can expect from European Champions Real Madrid after the arrival of Julen Lopetegui On...

Opinions1 year ago

Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Charles Onwuakpa writes about Carlo Ancelotti and the approach he is likely to take on at Napoli. After three intense...

Scout Report1 year ago

Scout Report: Gonçalo Paciência | Eintracht’s exquisite forward

Jose Miguel Saraiva writes a detailed scout report about Eintracht Frankfurt’s striker, Gonçalo Paciência. For those who have been attentively observing...

Talent Radar1 year ago

Talent Radar: Liga MX’s 10 Young Players to Watch in 2018-19

Thomas Harrison writes about the 10 players to watch out for in the Liga MX for this coming season. Mexico...

Talent Radar1 year ago

20 Key Young Players to Watch from 20 La Liga Teams

Tom Canton takes a look at they key young players to watch from each of the 20 La Liga teams....

Scout Report1 year ago

Scout Report: Alphonso Davies | Speedy Canadian winger

Griffin O’Neill writes a detailed scout report about Alphonso Davies, the Vancouver Whitecaps winger. While many still believe that the...

Scout Report1 year ago

Scout Report: Diogo Gonçalves | Benfica’s tricky winger

Jose Miguel Saraiva writes a detailed scout report about Benfica’s tricky winger, Diogo Goncalves Having been deprived of their biggest...

Talent Radar Award History

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

More on Outside of the Boot

Previous Next
Close
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this