Mexico has shown plenty of resilience and spirit during this World Cup and it now sits alone atop Group F with wins over South Korea and Germany. With the Germans sputtering a bit, this could be Mexico's group to win. El Tri isn't quite out of the woods yet but we discuss how good they've been during this tournament and what has made them so impressive.
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Here's a selection of episode ten, which can be listened to in its entirety in the podcast console above:
GRANT WAHL: You've got a situation now where Germany and Sweden are on three points. Mexico is on six points and Mexico isn't through yet either. They're going to have to get a result against Sweden in the final game.
BRIAN STRAUS: Yeah, I don't think we can count on Korea to beat Germany. So yeah, it would take a loss and some goal difference overhaul there but Mexico is not out of the woods. But at the same time, I am so impressed with their mentality. I am so impressed with their focus. I am so impressed—and I wrote this in my little write-up—with their ability to not let gamesmanship distract them from the game, which has always been one of the Achilles' heels of Mexico. They're just really professional, really organized, obviously brilliant technically but they've often been that in the past. This team is sort of taking the intangibles to another level and I think they will get the result they need. Maybe it's just a draw. But I think they're going to figure out a way to get through.
GW: Yeah, I was impressed with Mexico today. I thought they played a different style of game than they played against Germany. Which was required because they were going to have more possession of the ball today and one of the reasons they got the penalty they did in the first half was because they spent a lot of time in Korea's end. And I thought the Koreans with their mass-quantity fouling were borderline dirty today.
BS: Yeah, but that's kind of what I meant about the gamesmanship. Like that stuff went on, the referee wasn't as hard on Korea as he could have been and Mexico didn't retaliate. They didn't lose their heads and we've seen them do this before. And the fact that they maintained their composure, it's just very impressive. This is a different Mexico team under Osorio. It's a different kind of player. I just remember when I did that story and sitting down with some of these guys and being in the photoshoot with Chucky (Lozano) and Vela and Chicharito, I can't explain it, it's just they have a different mentality and a different way of approaching things and it's impressive and it's a big reason why they're in the position they're in.
GW: Yeah, by the way, not bad for Sports Illustrated covers to have Chicharito, Vela and Chucky Lozano on the cover before the World Cup. All three of those guys have scored now for Mexico and ...
BS: Harry Kane has a couple goals as well!
GW: That is true. Mohamed Salah not so much.
BS: Let's leave that part out!
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