Olympic Semifinal Preview: Mexico vs. Japan
Expectations were high for Mexico’s soccer team leading up to the 2012 Olympics Games, with most analysts predicting that they would bring home a medal. On Saturday they moved one step closer to achieving this by defeating a strong Senegalese team 4-2 in extra time of the quarterfinals.
On Tuesday’s semifinal match, Mexico will face Japan in what analysts anticipate being a strong scoring performance for both teams. Mexico has scored 7 goals in the tournament, while Japan has scored 5, three of which came in their quarterfinal game against Egypt.
Historically, Japan’s best Olympic performance came in 1968 when they earned the bronze medal. For Mexico, this marks the first time they’ve made it past the quarterfinals stage.
One of the keys to Mexico’s success has been their defense, which held South Korea, Gabon, and Switzerland to scoreless matches in the Group rounds. On offence, Mexico will rely heavily on Giovani dos Santos and Marco Fabian. Dos Santos has been the team’s offensive anchor with 3 goals and 3 assists, essentially taking part in all but one of Mexico’s goals. While Fabian was the team’s top goal scorer leading up to the Olympics with 14 goals in 17 appearances for the U23 national team.
Both countries are expected to play possession and passing soccer, but analysts expect Mexico’s better creative ability in the midfield should give them the edge to win the game.