Art imitates life; life imitates art. Nothing new there.
But my life, yesterday, was imitating CONCACAF. Not just any old aspect of the local soccer confederation, I speak of the World Cup qualifying tournament.
Here’s the group standings going into yesterday’s games.
As you can plainly see, after winning one game a week ago, Mexico leapfrogged out of the trouble zone. There’s a bit of a clusterfrack going on at the top, but at least it’s at the top. Three teams all have 7 points. Panama is closing in with 6, and Honduras and Jamaica are bringing up the rear.
After the games, the board got shuffled a bit. US beat Panama and set itself as the sole leader of the conference. Honduras picked up a few points by beating Jamaica. And Mexico did what it does — it didn’t lose — to Costa Rica. They tied.
So now this is what the most current standings look like.
And now, my life (which in this instance will be portrayed by my bowling league).
Going into Tuesday night’s games, there was a strong sense to not mess up (kinda like Mexico).
But, when all was said and done, 14 Dollar Salad came away splitting the difference. We won two games, lost two. So, we tied (kinda like Mexico).
And because other teams were living up to their respective pressures, we fell in the standings (kinda like Mexico).
Not down and out, by any means, but definitely a little further down than anyone would like to be (kinda like … ).
PHOTOS: CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying standings on June 7 and June 11. My bowling standings after Week 5.
After taking a ridiculously long time to allow us to lick our wounds and fret about the possibilities of making World Cup plans without a World Cup presence, CONCACAF qualifications are finally back into full swing tomorrow.
It’s been a boring start to the hexagonal. Mexico, with zero losses and three points, sits in the fifth spot. The top 3 teams get automatic bids and the fourth-place team must play to the death against New Zealand.
The only team worse off than us is Jamaica.
And so the stage is set. The second leg of this match-up will be played in Kingston, where I hope we can neutralize their home-field advantage the way they did ours earlier this year.
In a few hours, there may be calls of Sí se pudo and Presidente Chepo. Or I’ll go dark … again.
Tuesday, June 4 – 6:30 p.m. PT
Remaining TRI JUNE CONCACAF Qualifiers
Friday, June 7 – 7 p.m. PT
Panama v. Mexico
Tuesday, June 11 – 5 p.m. PT
Mexico v. Costa Rica
PHOTO: Chicharito goes up against Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts during the first CONCACAF hexagonal in Estadio Azteca in February.
Yep. That’s kinda how we all feel, Maza.
Yesterday, during the hexagonal kickoff match against Jamaica in Estadio Azteca, Mexico put on such a lackluster show and failed to capitalize on its home-field advantage. You’re playing in the clouds practically (7,900-foot elevation)!! MAKE THEM RUN.
It got so bad that fans started booing our own team and cheering every time Jamaica had the ball. I’m sure the captain didn’t appreciate any of that.
We scraped by with 1 point, by the grace of God. Read: By the blessings of Jesus.
Jose de Jesus Corona was the one person responsible for keeping Mexico, the regional leader, from falling oh-so-hard from grace. Aside from that spectacular diving save, Chuy had a few more moments where he punched out incoming shots and smothered balls during one-on-one breakaways.
Good stats, of course, for any goalie. But not when that goalie represents a team that has been on the rise. Get your shit together, guerreros. This isn’t a game anymore. It’s a fight to the World Cup.
PHOTO: Mexico captain Francisco ‘MAZA’ Rodriguez flipped off camera while Corona gives interview. Irony, here, is that Corona is the loose cannon you should watch out for off-field antics.
- Jamaica earns historic draw at the Azteca (examiner.com)
- Mexico, Jamaica Draw, 0-0, In Hexagonal World Cup Qualifying Round (huffingtonpost.com)
- Eric Gomez: Chepo’s stubborness leads Mexico to stinker at Azteca (goal.com)