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Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Aguirre ready for revenge vs. Argentina

By Enrique Vega
ESPN Deportes

RUSTENBURG, South Africa -- Javier Aguirre assumed responsibility after Mexico's defeat at the hands of Uruguay. "Coaches always lose. It's the players who win the games," said Aguirre, who nevertheless appeared calm since his team qualified and the speculation about an arranged draw with the Uruguayans was finally dismissed.

"FIFA can rest assured that we tried to win at all times. We could have negotiated a tie and be all happy. But the fair play was evident, we played to win, honoring our style," Aguirre said in a news conference.

Mexico advanced to the round of 16, but the result that left a sour taste in the mouths of the Mexican players, even though Aguirre indicated that "we might have won, tied or lost, but losing is much uglier."

Aguirre admitted that during the first few minutes he noticed that his team was not focused, and that they were in an uphill battle. "When we missed the first few plays, I noticed that the team was stalling in the first 15 minutes. But then we took control and we were right in the game. After that, we received the goal in a counterstrike provoked by one of our mistakes, but we'll talk about it tomorrow, and we have four wonderful days to prepare along the road," he said.

He remarked that Mexico came to South Africa with the objective of making the second round, and now "the evaluations are up to you. We are already in the second round, and now we need to regroup, recuperate and then on Sunday we will expect a great rival in Argentina, and it will be a beautiful opportunity to gain vindication for what happened four years ago." In 2006, Mexico lost to Argentina 2-1 in the round of 16, surrendering a goal in the 98th minute to Maxi Rodriguez.

The Mexican coach indicated that his team had good moments against Uruguay, such as "that shot by Andres Guardado that hit the post, some plays by Giovani [Dos Santos], the one that Maza [Francisco Rodriguez] had, which was the clearest situation. We had only a handful, but the rival also had only a handful of situations."

What Aguirre is unwilling to accept is the criticism for starting Guillermo Franco and the comments about his lackluster performance.

"There are many coaches out there, but for good or bad I am the Mexican coach. We are now one of the best 16 teams in the Cup, while FIFA placed us in the top 17, and now we must fight to show that we are even better than that. And as for Franco, we could have a meeting with all the coaches and there would be no obvious consensus on who to start on that position. It is very difficult to please everyone," he said.

"Our first goal was accomplished, and now we have to reach the next step."

Aguirre ended his appearance speaking about Argentina. "They have a similar style, evidently they have a complicated style with great individual players just like Uruguay, but we will try to change the course of history," he said. "This time, the most amazing goal of the game will be Mexican," undoubtedly referring to Rodriguez's game-winning long, distance-shot that eliminated Mexico in 2006.