By Sebastian Gonzalez on June 13, 2014
After a disappointing Qualifying stage, Mexico went into their match against Cameroon with the hopes of revitalizing their image. And after their match, Mexico fans could once again be happy. They defended well and were led by a spectacular Giovanni dos Santos on the attack. Here are every Mexican player's ratings for their match against Cameroon.
Today might just be Guillermo Ochoa's best day of his life. He got his first ever World Cup start after consecutive tournaments on the bench, and he managed to spectacularly save Cameroon's best opportunity. Ochoa has cemented his place as Mexico's best goalkeeper. 8 out of 10 for Memo Ochoa.
Much like the entire Mexican defense, Paul Aguilar wasn't required to do much throughout the game. The couple of times Cameroon wanted to pass through, Aguilar defended well. That said, Aguilar did suffer whenever Benoit Assou-Ekotto came in from the back. He also provided very little on attack unlike the other full-back, Miguel Layun. 6.5 out of 10 for Aguilar.
Francisco Rodriguez was given the task of stopping Samuel Eto'o throughout the game, and in that sense, he completed his mission. In the second half, when Cameroon decided to go forward, Rodriguez made crucial tackles and stops that led to Mexico's victory. Rodriguez earned himself a 7 out of 10.
Despite his age, Rafael Marquez showed why he's still considered a starter for Mexico. He managed to keep his former Barcelona teammate, Samuel Eto'o, controlled throughout the entire match. He also showed his excellent vision by constantly feeding Miguel Layun with perfect through balls. 8 out of 10 for Rafa Marquez.
Out of the entire backline, Hector Moreno was perhaps the worst defender. Of course, that isn't to say that he played badly, but he wasn't up to par with the other two defenders. His passes were suspect, and every now and then he would struggle with Eto'o or Moukandjo. 6.5 out of 10 for Moreno.
Outside of Giovanni dos Santos, Miguel Layun was Mexico's best player. He took advantage of the terrible defense and made a point to constantly go up whenever possible. And not only did he go up, but he was always a step ahead of the offense. He struggled defending near the end, but the earlier 80 minutes were all very solid. 8 out of 10 for Miguel Layun.
It was not a bad game for the young Hector Herrera in his first World Cup. He read the game very well. Whenever it was time to go forward and help the attack, Herrera was there to support dos Santos and Peralta. When it was time to defend, Herrera made the right coverages and helped Paul Aguilar. 7.5 out of 10 for Hector Herrera.
J.J. Vazquez was a surprise inclusion in Mexico's starting 11, but coach Miguel Herrera's gamble paid off. Despite his diminutive size, he managed to fend off the attacks from the physical Cameroonian attack and was able to link up the play between the defense and midfield perfectly. 7 out of 10 for Vazquez.
A lot more was expected out of Andres Guardado than what was shown by him. Then again, he was played out of position. Regardless, he didn't shine much and didn't provide much either offensively or defensively. His hustle and work-rate were appreciated, but he was rightfully taken out by coach Miguel Herrera. Guardado receives a 6 out of 10.
Make no doubt about it; Giovanni dos Santos was Mexico's best player. He started out the first half with two goals that were (perhaps unjustly) invalidated. He created a number of chances for himself and Oribe Peralta and was a giant headache for the Cameroon defense. Although he didn't manage to get on the score sheet, his play deserves a 8.5 out of 10.
Although his presence wasn't felt much throughout the game, Oribe Peralta came through for Mexico when it most mattered. In perhaps the toughest stretch of the match for Mexico, Peralta showed his opportunism when he swooped in to finish off a rebound. And in the end, we most judge strikers by their goals. 7 out of 10 for Peralta.
Marco Fabian came in to give another layer to the Mexican attack, and he succeeded in that sense. His speed and effort gave even more problems to the Cameroonian defenders and he created two chances that should have been finished. Fabian's energy-filled 30 minutes give him a 7.5 out of 10.
Javier Hernandez hasn't scored for Mexico in over a year, and the drought continued today. While he had an extremely easy opportunity to score, Hernandez foolishly sent it wide. It's something worth being scared about if you're Mexican coach Miguel Herrera. 5 out of 10 for Chicharito.
Carlos Salcido only played a couple of minutes to ensure Mexico didn't lose. It would be unfair to rate a performance based off three minutes.
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