Soccer  > World Cup  > Mexico deals with anger from Uruguay loss
June 23, 2010, 04:33 PM
By Gerardo Mart??nez G??mez

RUSTENBURG, South Africa -- Mexico has repeated a pattern it would like to break, losing when it is considered a favorite.

But the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay on Tuesday had an explanation, at least for coach Javier Aguirre, who blamed the loss on a failure of consistency as well as an absence of the hunger that it had shown in earlier games.

"We lacked perhaps the attitude and desire at the beginning," he said. "We were not able to read that Uruguay pressured from the beginning, or were not able to adjust the way we brought the ball out of the back when they intercepted a few balls."

It was a result that finished Mexico in second place in Group A, good enough combined with South Africa's 2-1 win over France, to send it to a second-round meeting against Argentina on Sunday. A win would have enabled El Tri to avoid the South Americans and get a much more enviable knockout game against Korea Republic.

"El Vasco" angrily brushed aside questions about the Guillermo Franco's inclusion in the starting lineup, rejecting suggestions he should be replaced due to his inability to score in three matches.

"I am the national team coach and I make the decisions," he said. "Who plays and who doesn't, that's the eternal dispute between the public, media and coaches. It's difficult to please everyone and I only try to please the national team."

Defender and sometimes captain Rafael M??rquez condemned El Tri for a lack of concentration and character, two qualities that he considers hallmarks of the team.

"We didn't show what we have been doing and we are all unhappy with the performance that we gave today," the Barcelona back said. "We achieved the objective, which was to qualify, but with what we showed (Tuesday) is not going to be enough. We have to improve and try and recover what we have been doing such as against France (a 2-0 victory).

"We didn't come out with the same determination like we did against France, but it's over and hopefully we can learn from it. Hopefully against Argentina we are hungry from the first minute."

Marquez, who began the match as a defensive midfielder and finished in the middle of the back line, assured that no one is mulling the loss to Uruguay, and instead is focused on Argentina, hoping to avenge its 2-1 loss in extra time to "Los Albicelestes" in the second of the 2006 World Cup.

"You have to turn the page because one of the few good things is that we qualified," Marquez said. "Now we have to think about the great team that awaits us, because we also have the quality to face our opponent and we also have a chance to win."

Defender Carlos Salcido lived up to his reputation as an outspoken member of Mexico, describing the team's mood as furious with itself.

"We are angry with ourselves because did not give the best match," he said. "We have a lot of confidence because the team is doing well. You play well and know that the next round is do-or-die. It's great what happened to us (Tuesday) because we lost to a good team that adapted well to us and closed off most of the spaces, so I think we need to improve a lot.

"In the first half we needed to be more intense, and in the second half we came out to try to tie the match and win it but it wasn't enough."

Group A

Friday, June 11
South Africa 1, Mexico 1
Uruguay 0, France 0
Wednesday, June 16
South Africa 0, Uruguay 3
Thursday, June 17
France 0, Mexico 2
Tuesday, June 22
Mexico 0, Uruguay 1
France 1, South Africa 2

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