Mexico was supposed to be an Olympic medal contender, led by a golden generation of young stars including Giovanni Dos Santos, Carlos Vela and Andres Guardado. Hugo Sanchez’s team was supposed to walk through Olympic Qualifying. The Mexicans were supposed to do a lot, but are now heading home having accomplished nothing.
Mexico thrashed Haiti, 5-1, in one of the must absurd soccer games ever played, but it was one goal short of what the Mexicans needed to reach the Olympic qualifying second round. Canada’s 5-0 win against Guatemala earlier on Sunday set the bar too high for the Mexicans, which put on a clinic on how to squander easy scoring chances. Mexico won big, but lost bigger and now Dos Santos, Vela, Guardado and Hugo Sanchez will be watching the Olympics on TV.
Haitian goalkeeper Johnny Placide gave up five goals but stole the show with a plethora of clutch saves, inluding a penalty kick stop. Even as his defense abandoned him, Placide kept making saves and earned folk hero status in Canada, the USA and Guatemala.
There will be no sympathy for Mexico, an underachieving squad of floppers and whiners who spent more time begging for yellow cards for its opponents than playing quality soccer. It is sad that the likes of Dos Santos, Vela and Guardado won’t get to shine at the Olympics, but they have only their countrymen to blame.
Most of the blame, at least in Mexico, will fall at the feet of Hugo Sanchez, who wore all black on Sunday, perhaps getting a head start on the mourning of his time as Mexico head coach. Does he really deserve to be fired? I don’t think he does but failing to reach the Olympics is going to be tough for Sanchez to survive.
What do you think of Mexico’s failed Olympic bid? Does Sanchez deserve to be fired? Was the team just not good enough? Was Group B (with Guatemala, Canada and Haiti) tougher than we realized? Share your thoughts below.