2014 World Cup Preview: Mexico vs. Croatia
Mexico played out to the bravest draw one will see against hosts Brazil in their second group stage match of the World Cup after defeating Cameroon 1-0. Croatia destroyed Cameroon 4-0 in their second match after losing 3-1 to Brazil in the opener. Now, the Mexicans, with four points, will face Croatia with three in their final group game tomorrow. If Mexico ties or wins, they are through to the Round of 16. Therefore, Croatia has to win if they are to advance.
Mexico has played with their 5-3-2 formation to great success during their first two games. Their wingbacks have been remarkable pushing forward to join the attack with their passing, crossing and occasional shot-taking. The team as a whole has worked together magnificently on both ends of the ball. Offensively, unluckiness is the reason why they were unable to score against the hosts and quite frankly their goalkeeper is the reason why they were able to keep a clean sheet.
Croatia’s Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic really came to life in their big win over Cameroon as they were able to find a lot more space towards and inside the final third which opened things up for their offensive teammates. The return of Mario Mandzukic from suspension gave the team a big target in the middle of the box and he did manage to hit home twice.Veteran midfielder/striker Ivica Olic has been clutch with his runs, passing and even scoring while young winger Ivan Perisic also found the netting thanks to his speed and strength. These guys will make it tough for Mexico to win.
This is going to be a mouthwatering clash of two teams who want this win badly. Mexico plays with grit whereas Croatia plays with intelligent tackles, passing and counters. This will be heated but we will also see some cool events in midst of the smoke.
Prediction: Mexico 1, Croatia 2
The Croatians will score two goals with one being on the counter and the other being built through a nice spell of possession. As for Mexico, they will equalize then fall behind again, failing to catch up a second time.
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