The 2022 World Cup final is upon us, and unlike previous finals, which were played between June and July, because of the high desert heat, the tournament will take place from November 21 to December 18 in Qatar.
Mexico has now qualified for the finals an eighth consecutive time, a run that would have been longer had the team not been banned from the 1990 finals. They received this ban for fielding overage players at the 1988 Concacaf U-20 tournament.
El Tri, as they are affectionately known, have been drawn in Group C with Poland, Argentina and Saudi Arabia and will be looking to make it an eighth straight appearance in the knockout stages.
You can use the accumulator betting calculator to determine the odds for the Mexican side or your favourite team.
A Rich History
Of the previous 21 World Cup finals, El Tri has only not participated in five tournaments. Their consistent appearance in the finals earns them a lot of respect. Unfortunately, they struggle to make it past the first knockout round.
They have only reached the quarterfinals twice, in the 1970 and 1986 tournaments, where they were ranked sixth overall in both instances. Mexico’s World Cup stats get a little direr from there. Currently, no team has lost more games at the World Cup than Mexico, which has lost 27 games and has one of the worst defensive records. Its goal differential is second to none at minus 38. Going into these finals, Mexico will want to break the curse and make it to the elusive quarterfinals.
Run of Form
Over the past three years, the Mexican team’s form has had its ups and downs after winning the Concacaf Gold Cup in 2019. They secured their World Cup spot with a two-nil win over Honduras, finishing second behind Canada in the eight-team Concacaf table.
El Tri lost only to Canada and the USA in consecutive away games, with the other two ending in a one-all draw and a nil-all draw, respectively. They capped off the qualifications with a one-all draw against Jamaica, an impressive run that saw them qualify ahead of the US team.
Before playing their last two qualifiers, Mexico went up against Nigeria, Uruguay, and Ecuador, where they played three friendlies in eight days. They lost three-nil to Uruguay, beat Nigeria two-one and drew nil-all with Ecuador.
Key to coach Gerardo Martino’s side’s results is the in-form shot-stopper, Guillermo Ochoa. The goalkeeper turns 37 in July and has not lost any of his great reflexes. For many years, this has made his name on the starting lineup a mainstay.
Fernando Beltran is another player in fine form. The 24-year-old midfielder has impressed during the last three friendlies with good movement off the ball going forward and is a good facilitator of the ball. A spot on the starting lineup in Qatar looks more likely.
Mexico’s attack is what will worry coach Martino and fans alike. Most of the stick has gone to Raul Jimenz, who is keen to find form, but Alexis Vega and Uriel Antuna have not shown much going forward to get the fans excited.
First up for Mexico is Poland on November 22, where they hope to have their attack options sorted.
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