Bosnia-Herzegovina takes down Mexico at Soldier Field

Bosnia-Herzegovina takes down Mexico at Soldier Field
June 4, 2014, 12:00 am
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Mexico looked to build up their confidence heading into Brazil by a great performance against a Bosnia-Herzegovina side that was full of quality and had previously defeated Côte d'Ivoire 2-1 in St. Louis.

Izet Hajrovic's 41st minute goal was enough to give Bosnia a 1-0 win against Mexico in their third of four preparation matches. The defeat for Mexico broke an eight-match unbeaten streak in all competitions under Miguel "Piojo" Herrera, and raises concerns about their creative play when Giovanni dos Santos and Marco Fabián are not in the pitch. For the Dragons, the win gave them a perfect record on their USA tour and demonstrated their organization, structure, and creativity.

For El Tri, much of the early goings of the match were spent defending inside their own area with Bosnia dictating the flow of the match, and had a couple of good buildups early that were a good finish or a final ball away from opening the scoring. By the 35th minute, the adjustment from a 5-3-2 to a 4-4-2 seemed to allow Mexico to gain more possession and create more chances.

But it would be Bosnia that would go up in the 41st, when Hajrovic finished off a one-two started by striker Edin Džeko. It was a goal Mexico could see coming, from how their defense was unable to react to the speed, creativity, size, and technical ability of the Southeastern European side.

Bosnia started off the second half the way it ended the first half — with most of the meaningful possession, though Mexico had its opportunities on counters and set pieces early. Mexico found possession in the game but had few real chances on goal as Bosnia's defense was able to deal with most of Mexico's frustrated attempts on goal, with the side unable to make the final pass or move to get a look on goal.

There was a moment of confusion in the 76th minute as Bosnia tried to sub in Vedad Ibiševic for the goal scorer Izet Hajrovic, but the Guatemalan referee refused to allow the substitution to be completed, allowing Mexico to play with a temporary man advantage. Eventually Ibiševic was allowed on the pitch.

Mexico's best chance of the match came in the 85th minute, when an Andrés Guardado free kick finds the head of 'Maza' Rodríguez, but the former América and Stuttgart defender's effort was saved by Bosnian keeper Asmir Begovi.

Mexico got its best pressure of the match in the dying minutes of the match, when the Dragons sat back in the dying minutes of stoppage time. However a 93rd minute shot by Miguel Angel Ponce (after one of those buildups) was saved by Begovic.

Mexico has one more tuneup on Friday in which they play Portugal in Boston. The match will kick off at 8:30 PM Eastern Time.