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Olympic Qualifying: Guatemala topples Mexico


Just when you thought the U.S. Under-23 national team had problems with Olympic Qualifying comes the story of Mexico, which will now head into its third qualifying match with just one point from two matches.

Mexico’s Under-23 team lost to Guatemala on Friday night, 2-1, at Home Depot Center. The result helped Guatemala secure a berth in the semifinals and pushes the Central Americans within a tie or Haiti tie or loss from securing first place in Group B.

As for Mexico, it blew a lead and watched Guatemala outplay them in the second half. All of a sudden, Mexico has to worry about even reaching the semifinals rather than trying to win the group and avoid the United States in the all-important semifinal.

And you know what is arguably the best part about Mexico’s loss on Friday night? Mexico’s only goal came courtesy of American born and raised left back Edgar Castillo, who netted the opening goal in the fifth minute. Mexico coach Hugo Sanchez must have been proud.

The interesting part about the developments in Group B of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying is the fact that Mexico has looked very far from dominant and rather ordinary in its two matches. Yes, there have been flashes of quality attacking play, but both Canada and Guatemala stood toe to toe with a pretty stacked Mexican squad, with the likes of Guillermo Ochoa, Cesar Villaluz and Luis Landin.

At this point I really wonder if the U.S. team should be worried about being matched up against Mexico. As good as Guatemala looked tonight I’m not sure if they are necessarily an easier opponent. Sure, there is the threat of being eliminated by Mexico, but there is also the potential to exact revenge for the Americans being eliminated by Mexico in the last Olympic qualifying campaign in 2004.

What I really wonder is if Hugo Sanchez could lose his job if Mexico failed to qualify for the Olympics. He’s not on the best footing as Mexican national team head coach and a failure to even get out of the group stage, much less a semifinal loss to the United States after a poor group stage showing, might be enough to get him the boot.

What do you think of Mexico’s shocking loss on Friday? Are you stunned? Overjoyed? Are you a U.S. fan who suddenly feels a little better about your team? Share your thoughts below.


  1. Hello to all my fellow football lovers… I can now enjoy the taste of victory by the hands fo my own country man. for year i have enjoyed it in the hands (feet)of others (US, Germany,Argentina…. but now i can say, it was us, Guategood!!!

    ya know i still love all my mexicano friends, food and places.

    However,I would love to really dedicate this ELIMINATION to: Mr.Tuca Ferreti(Pumas), all the arrogant mexican football fans, players and coaches who have disrespacted central american soccer. to all Salu!!!!!!

  2. I saw the full national team play Haiti 4 or 5 years ago at the Orange Bowl. They’re one of those teams that has some impressive individual skill, but they can’t pull it all together as a team. They tried the tricks and the fancy passes instead of nice, simple passes and that doesn’t pay off.

  3. Two points:

    1). I keep on reading this argument that every team has been equally affected. That’s just not the truth! Outside of the US and Mexico, I’d like for someone to name one player who is missing because his club refused to allow him to participate in the qualifiers. Rules are not fair just because they apply to everyone.

    2). My earlier point had nothing to do with the US’s situation. Ives’ question was should Sánchez get fired, not who is being affected the most. This isn’t a pissing contest. Sure the US would be playing at a higher level if Bradley, Szetela, and Spector were playing, but at least we’ve still got two of our best players-Adu and Altidore- in the qualifiers.

  4. I think mexico plays well but always lacks that one touch that scores the goal ( which is what counts). every time they play us or any other concacaf team I’ve noticed their good ball possesion but awful scoring. I think one of the reasons that they got so far in the Copa America is because of players like Nery Castillo who was the one player who does know how to kick a ball. Vela and Dos Santos are promising so we’ll see about them. how many more european players do they have? I know guardado and marquez are down there too. and the one other guy danigris (or whatever) who played in the last USA-Mexico game.

    also, why wasn’t castillo (U-23 Castillo, not Nery) not called for the USMNT? did he not want to or he chose mexico or what? he seems good, so does vilaluz

  5. Almost every team here is a victim of circumstance and are without two or three of their better players.

    Would the U.S. play better if it had the full services of Spector, Szetela and M. Bradley in this tournament?

    Although Mexico’s problem almost goes to the extreme with two of its best field players not playing.

    But the team still needs to learn how to play and win without dos Santos and Vela. Lack of depth, it sure is.

    The U.S. is still getting results without Bradley,Spector and M. Bradley.

    Also, I don’t expect Sanchez to get sacked if Mexico doesn’t qualify.

  6. hey kpugs, take it easy with your anti-Mexican postings, will ya? If you “hate” Mexican soccer because of anti-Americanism, your hate is misguided and hypocritical. If you’re going to start hating national teams because their fans are anti-American, Mexico is not your problem. Based on comments I’ve read your problem should be China, much of Europe, all of the middle East, Canada, etc, etc…you get my point. I have been to a few U.S.-Mexico games and I have heard some awful things said about Mexicans that go beyond soccer by my fellow Sam’s Army members. We’re not angels either. Besides, when we go down to Azteca they treat us very well. So my point is for you to take your hatred somewhere else and keep the Mexico rivalry a healthy one at the sporting level.

  7. Did anyone see Guatemalas #10. He was doing really well yesterday. I would really like to see him in the MLS. Hopefully a MLS is interested in him.

  8. I think it’s great that other CONCACAF nations are doing well. Of course I want US to dominate but it’s nice that Guatemala or Haiti are beating bigger opponents.

  9. I know this post was on Mexico, but how about Canada losing to Haiti 2-1. This has got to come at a huge surprise, at least in my opinion as big as guatemala beating mexico (I think guatemala is a better team than Haiti). 2nd place in group B is definitely up for grabs now.

  10. Ives the United States was not eliminated by Mexico in World Cup Qualifying during 2004. I guess people didn’t notice. In Olympic qualifying however, we did falter to the Mexican team.

    Mexico will always be a team that plays to the level of its opponent. Against excellent football sides, El Tri is capable of raising their game due to the verve and creativity they possess in attack, however they’re also guilty of regularly taking opposing sides far too lightly.

    You are correct to point out Sanchez will be in an untenable position should Mexico fail to qualify. Even if he isn’t sacked, the pressure level will be elevated to an uncomfortable crescendo.

  11. The only different color on their flag is green, which is of course the color of envy. Basically, Mexican soccer can do something to itself that is anatomically impossible.

  12. P.S. Screw Edgar Castillo. I make a point of not crapping on Americans trying to play for other countries. But my hatred of the Mexican soccer team runs so deep I hypocritically crap on any American who plays for Mexico.

    I know I am 100% wrong and hypocritical here. I just can’t help it.

  13. This is awesome news. AWESOME. Unfortunately there really isn’t a way to exact full revenge for Mexican fans chanting “Osama” during the last Olympic qualifiers. Hate is a strong word, but after that incident I hate everything about Mexican soccer, their fans, their players, etc.

    The pure dominance of the senior team and the pathetic joy Mexico received from a DRAW doesn’t even cover it. SCREW Mexican soccer.

  14. The interesting thing about CONCACAF qualifying AND the Olympics is that neither tournament falls in the FIFA calender. It is good to see the upsets, but I am sure the results would be different if Mexico had dos Santos and Vela. Even if the US and Mexico make it to the Olympics, will their three overage players be limited? Would Mexico even get dos Santos to play in Beijing?

  15. Personally, I’m encouraged to see other CONCACAF nations getting exciting results. As much as I’m a huge US fan and enjoy seeing Mexico struggle, I also hope to see our CONCACAF neighbors providing a stronger test to our top teams. How else will the US team get better and become more of a factor in world competitions is most of our confederation games are against cream puffs with no challenge to them? Sure, Mexico might not have all they need from their starpower, but that’s still just an excuse. It shows lack of depth. Good competition so far, too bad about the Cuban team being short staffed.

  16. This rule is for every team in the tournament, some teams get affected more than others. The US has some players affected as well. I hope Hugo remains in charge of this team, his idiotic remarks make is much more satisfying when we beat them, or even when quatemala beats them. they are 2-0 in 6 months against the Gallinas verdes. I think our team is suffering from not playing any games before this tournament. Some of the players we have, have never played together and it shows, not to mention novaks wierd lineups. I wish Bob bradley would be coaching this team. say what you want about bradley.

  17. More than anything- and I truly hate to say this- I think Mexico’s poor showing is due more to qualification quirks than Hugo Sánchez. We’d be fooling ourselves if we believed that Mexico wouldn’t qualify if Gio dos Santos or Carlos Vela were playing. If FIFA really wants the best teams in the Olympics (and I don’t think they do) then its member nations would be able to field the best team possible. That’s just not the case now.

    To fire Sánchez based on these matches would be unjust. I’d rather see him fired after losing to us in the Estadio Azteca. It’s only a matter of time…


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