Discussion

Previewing El Tri's match vs. Canada

Updated: March 29, 2012, 12:13 PM ET
By Brent Latham

If you think Mexico should have no problem getting past Canada on Saturday in its CONCACAF U-23 semifinal matchup, you're right. Of course on paper, the U.S. should have handled the Canadians as well. Instead, the northerners counterpunched their way to a deserved 2-0 victory over the tournament co-favorites and set the U.S. on a downward spiral towards premature elimination.

So should Mexico be wary of Canada when the teams battle it out for one of those precious tickets to London on offer in Kansas City? Of course. Should El Tri be overly concerned? No.

Canada beat the U.S. by outmuscling a more technical midfield and taking advantage of a pair of set pieces to seal the deal, while the floundering American attack became gradually more disjointed. Could the same thing happen to Mexico? Perhaps, but the odds are much longer.

Canada is a scrappy team with a big, physical back line and an in-form goalkeeper. It will battle for 90 minutes, looking to pack it in, defend and counter. That means Mexico will have almost all of the possession, and will get plenty of shots on goal. So the chances of Canada -- a team that, aside from the aberration against the U.S., has managed just one goal in two matches against Cuba and El Salvador -- pulling a second monumental upset are slim.

But at the El Tri blog, our job is to inform you. So instead of leaving it at that and taking the day off, let's play devil's advocate for a moment and consider what could possibly go wrong for El Tri on Saturday. Avoid these pitfalls and the trip to England is a done deal.

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