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FIFA World Cup 2018 team profile: Mexico aim to end round of sixteen jinx

Mexico have managed to make the round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup six consecutive times and will be looking to go at least one step further in 2018.

football Updated: Jun 11, 2018 21:17 IST
Sarthak Bal
Sarthak Bal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
FIFA World Cup 2018,FIFA World Cup,Mexico
Mexico have managed to make the round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup six consecutive times and will be looking to go at least one step further in 2018. (AFP)

Head coach: Juan Carlos Osorio

World Cup history: qualified 15 times; best – quarter-finals (1970, 1986)

Qualifying route: Topped Group A CONCACAF fourth Round – Topped only Group in CONCACAF fifth round

Squad: Goalkeepers - Guillermo Ochoa, Alfredo Talavera, Jesus Corona; Defenders - Carlos Salcedo, Diego Reyes, Hector Moreno, Hugo Ayala, Edson Alvarez, Jesus Gallardo, Miguel Layun; Midfielders - Rafael Marquez, Hector Herrera, Jonathan dos Santos, Giovani dos Santos, Andres Guardado, Javier Aquino, Jesus Corona; Forwards - Javier Hernandez, Raul Jimenez, Oribe Peralta, Carlos Vela, Hirving Lozano, Marco Fabian.

Mexico advanced to CONCACAF’s Hexagonal round with 16 points to top their group. In the final phase they earned a historic 2-1 win over USA to start with and followed it up with five wins, three draws and a loss to finish as leaders with 21 points.

READ | FIFA World Cup 2018 team profile: Costa Rica look for repeat of 2014 heroics

Securing qualification for Russia 2018 meant that Mexico have qualified for a seventh consecutive World Cup.

Surprisingly, El Tri have managed to make the round of 16 of the World Cup six consecutive times and given their competition in Group F, they are likely to do so once again.

Offensively, Hirving Lozano and Carlos Vela, on the back of solid individual seasons with their respective clubs will be critical if Mexico are to move beyond the round of 16.

Their defence though, remains their strong point, as highlighted by the concession of only seven goals during the Hexagonal round.

READ | FIFA World Cup 2018 team profile: Switzerland aim to exceed expectations

Three players to watch out for

Hirving Lozano - Lozano will be Mexico’s main goal-scoring option at the World Cup. In only his first season in Europe with Dutch giants PSV, the 22-year-old has established himself as a key player.

Javier Hernandez - One of the country’s most recognised football stars, Hernandez will be hoping to spearhead his team beyond the round of 16, in what will be his last World Cup tournament. The former Manchester United forward will also be seeking his 50th goal for Mexico.

Hector Moreno - The Real Sociedad centre-back was an intergral part of the Mexican defence that let in just seven goals in 10 qualifying games. Mexico’s progression will depend on Moreno’s ability to replicate that form in Russia.

First Published: Jun 11, 2018 21:17 IST