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Mexico vs Belarus, Jonathan Dos Santos, Gio Dos Santos

Belarus did their homework as they beat Mexico 3-2

The Belarus national team were either very lucky or did their homework prior to today's 3-2 victory over the Mexican national team. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt in order to make this loss a little less painful. Here are 4 reasons why I believe the Belarus watched their film before today's match:

18 yard Box was packed - from the opening whistle the Belarus made sure they packed the middle of the 18 yard box. They most likely have seen what happens to a Mexican side when this area of the field is filled. They knew that this type of defense is our kryptonite and with the Belarus players having size it made it more difficult to penetrate. Luckily Jonathan Dos Santos was able to work some magic and with a precision ally loop type of pass Jiminez was able to score.

Rough play - the Belarus came out being very physical and they made sure they put their body on the Mexican players in order to remind them of their physical dominance. Being that hockey is their number one sport it was bound to happen.

Slowed the game - they never allowed Mexico to get into any type of tempo. They slowed the game whenever they could and pressured the weakest area of Mexico, the central defense which kept them on their heels. 

Dynamics in pace - Belarus went from a physical and defensive team to an attacking and controlling the wings team. They didn't look tired and they never lost their poise. When Mexico threw 4 strikers the Belarus knew they would be able to press more and they did. They kept the game three passes away from a turnover and two from a fast break.

I know its easy to place blame on certain aspects of the Mexico team like the inability to control the position or defend. However I would like to focus on the positives as these games are meant for coaches to learn about the character of their players and the rhythm of the team. Here are some positives that I took from the match:

  1. The Dos Santos brothers are the real deal. I would like to see them working together in 2015 and have them on the varsity team.
  2. Rual Jimenez is looking a lot stronger and more complete. I hope he continues to work hard and allows Simone to shape him into a great striker.
  3. Miguel Herrera has a winning mentality and he showed it today with allowing four strikers to end the game. Only problem was he didn't have the skill in the back to feed this offense however I wouldn't be surprised if we see this type of all in mentality in the future.

I know we all want our FIFA ranking to improve but I rather see how Mexico takes the triumphs and victories of 2014 and uses them as lessons to become better, stronger, and united.  

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