On the surface, Mexico’s Copa America Centenario clash against Jamaica couldn’t have gone much better.
In recording a 2-0 win in front of a crowd of 83,263 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on Thursday, El Tri kept a clean sheet, extended their unbeaten run to 21 games and booked a place in the quarter-finals of the tournament. Perfect, right?
However, if you scratch a little deeper below the bare facts, there are reasons why Mexican fans shouldn’t get too carried away just yet.
The repeat of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup final basically boiled down to a tale of two strikers.
While Javier Hernandez showed his predatory instincts with Mexico’s opening goal in the 18th minute, fellow forward Clayton Donaldson had a game to forget for Jamaica.
The Reggae Boyz had enough chances to get at least a draw from the contest. Instead, their profligacy in the penalty area must have had coach Winfried Schafer—watching from the stands after being sent off during his side’s 1-0 loss to Venezuela—pulling his lovely hair out.
Donaldson was twice guilty of dragging wide glorious shooting opportunities inside the area, while he also took a theatrical tumble in the first half when well placed to pull the trigger again.
When the same player seemed to be clipped by Yasser Corona in the box after the break, the officials denied him a penalty.
Think of it as the footballing equivalent of Aesop’s fable, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” There was contact, but Donaldson exaggerated his fall.