Mexico suffered the worst loss in an official competition in their footballing history on Saturday night, falling by a touchdown to Chile. I expected them to lose -- they've been disjointed and vulnerable, and have shown no ability to shut down teams that attack at pace in this tournament. I did not expect them to lose 7-0, however. Chile's good but they're not that good.
El Tri made them good by constantly allowing space for the Chilean wingers to get out and attack at pace. That is death.
How'd they do it? Short-short-long through the middle with diagonals to the flanks. One of the things every team needs to ask itself in this game is "how do we get the ball into the attacking third?" By virtue of having a completely disjointed midfield and tactical approach, El Tri gave Chile the answer: Get it wide and just dribble into the box.
As such, Chile actually attempted fewer total passes in the attacking third, but were waaaaaaay more efficient:
And then because the Mexican backline was constantly scrambling, Chile completed their passes with ease.
This wasn't one of those "oh man they converted every chance" type of games -- this was as comprehensive a 90-minute beat-down as I've ever seen at this level (remember, Germany's 7-1 destruction was basically done inside 30 minutes). Mexico were entirely unprepared for the tactical challenges presented by a Chilean team that's played pretty much the same style for four years, and they were entirely unprepared to play together.
I blame head coach Juan Carlos Osorio. His constant tinkering with lineups and personnel have been the death of several of his teams, and they'll be the death of Mexico as well. On balance I actually think that Mexico have more talent than Chile, but that talent never got a chance to play together for any significant stretch.
Here's what I wrote on Monday, after Mexico were lucky they didn't concede five to Jamaica:
Here's what this actually means: The heart, the fundamental building block of Osorio's gameplan is to always ignore the fundamentals of the game. Players play better when they're familiar with each other, their lineup and their role. The way Osorio manages prevents that from happening.
The players knew that, and so they eventually gave up. And now it's back to the drawing board for a Mexico team that many had thought would be one of this tournament's best.