2014 World Cup: Mexico’s Player Ratings vs. Croatia

2014 World Cup: Mexico's Player Ratings vs. Croatia

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In what was an emotionally intense matchup until the 70th minute, Mexico were able to nab a victory and secure their match against the Netherlands in the round of 16. Playing the same soccer that they did today, they're serious dark horse contenders for the World Cup.

13. GK - Guillermo Ochoa

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13. GK - Guillermo Ochoa

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In an otherwise bright night for Mexico, Ochoa didn't play very well at all. After a fantastic game against Brazil, he failed on a number of interventions and was shaky with his feet all night. The lone goal scored by Croatia was a testament to how poor Croatia was in the last touch. Ochoa: 5 out of 10.

12. RWB - Paul Aguilar

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12. RWB - Paul Aguilar

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It was a fantastic night for Paul Aguilar, who answered the pressure of the game with tenacious defense and great offensive runs. When Croatia was dominating the game, he came up big with excellent tackles and headers. And when Mexico needed offense, he was always an option on the right. Aguilar: 8.5 out of 10.

11. CB - Francisco Rodriguez

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11. CB - Francisco Rodriguez

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Francisco Rodriguez came in extremely questioned by the Mexican fans for being one of the worst defenders on the team. However, there won't be much to judge in today's game. He was able to contain Mandzucic very well and didn't make many mistakes with the ball at his feet. Rodriguez: 7 out of 10.

10. CB - Rafael Marquez

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10. CB - Rafael Marquez

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Up until the 71st minute, Rafael Marquez was having a terrible game. He looked slow, he was committing silly fouls and was constantly being beat on the dribble. But a fantastic header of his in the 72nd minute changed all that. He gave Mexico the lead, and culminated those fantastic 10 minutes with a deflection for Chicharito's goal. Marquez: 7.5 out of 10.

9. CB - Hector Moreno

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9. CB - Hector Moreno

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Much like his entire World Cup, Hector Moreno was the best defender in the Mexican backline. He was excellent in covering Mandzucic and saved a shot on the line that would have meant a Croatian goal. He also put in a number of balls for the Mexican forwards. Moreno: 8 out of 10.

8. LWB - Miguel Layun

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8. LWB - Miguel Layun

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Miguel Layun had a calm night, as he wasn't quite as effective as Aguilar on the wings, but he put in a good defensive shift against Perisic. He was never beat on the dribble and gave Mexico a sense of safety on the left. Layun: 6.5 out of 10.

7. CM - Hector Herrera

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7. CM - Hector Herrera

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Throughout the entirety of the tournament, Hector Herrera has been Mexico's best player. Today was no different, as every Mexican attack passed through his feet. He had an amazing shot denied by the post, and put in a number of through balls that should have resulted in goals. His technique and class will be important if they want to defeat Holland in the round of 16. Herrera: 9 out of 10.

6. CDM - Jose Juan Vazquez

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6. CDM - Jose Juan Vazquez

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Jose Juan Vazquez started off very shaky, losing a number of key balls in the middle. As the game went on though, he slowly started to cement himself as one of the better players on the pitch. He's a key player for Mexico that excellently links up the defense and the midfield, and always makes the right coverages. J.J. Vazquez: 7 out of 10.

5. CM - Andres Guardado

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5. CM - Andres Guardado

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Andres Guardado's tireless efforts and sacrifice of playing out of position were finally rewarded with a goal that essentially sealed Mexico's victory. He defended well against the likes of Rakitic and Modric, and was always asking for the ball. Guardado: 8 out of 10.

4. ST - Giovanni dos Santos

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4. ST - Giovanni dos Santos

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Giovanni dos Santos was never able to make a difference against such an organized defense. Whenever he received the ball, he was well covered by at least two Croatians. In conditions like those, without any serious offensive help, it was an impossible task to undertake for Gio. dos Santos: 5 out of 10.

3. ST - Oribe Peralta

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3. ST - Oribe Peralta

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Much like Gio dos Santos, he was lost throughout most of the game amongst the giant Croatian defenders. But he showed up when it counts, and gave Andres Guardado a perfect pass for the second Mexican goal. He did, however, mess up an early chance in the first half to take the lead. Peralta: 6 out of 10.

2. Sub - Javier Hernandez

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2. Sub - Javier Hernandez

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After a year-long scoring drought, Javier Hernandez was finally able to get on the score sheet again. Not only did he push in the third goal, but he also participated in the second goal. As bad as his form has been, one can't deny that he was effective against Croatia. "Chicharito": 8 out of 10.

1. Sub - Carlos Peña

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1. Sub - Carlos Peña

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Though he only played around 15 minutes, Carlos Peña tried to make the most of it. He lost his starting job just before the World Cup and showed how eager he was to get on the pitch today. He was running around everywhere, pressing the midfield and trying to start counterattacks. Peña: 6 out of 10.

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