The Azteca fortress has turned on El Tri.
A miserable year of qualifying has made the Azteca a monster. Sounds of derision have stifled applause. Jeers have echoed the stadium like sirens crushing El Tri’s confidence.
The truth is the Azteca can be a handful once it turns.
Opposition has learned that. The pressure of performing in the Azteca has become a great burden for El Tri. Perhaps it’s the altitude but ever since the start of the Hexagonal El Tri is yet to acquire a win at home. The numbers don’t lie.
Its brought Mexico more harm than good. As the Azteca is starting to hinder El Tri more than the opposition. Many times in the closing minutes of games in the Azteca, Mexico looks tired and struggles to hold off the opponent. No longer is the Azteca the same weapon El Tri could depend on. The Azteca has become a double-edged sword. It’s a great asset to have but if not used properly it could end up being El Tri’s demise.
Coming off back-to-back defeats in the Hexagonal El Tri’s confidence is not what it should be at a crucial moment of qualifying.
And with time winding down the pressure has fallen on Mexico’s new manager Victor Manuel Vucetich to restore order.
Vucetich must scrap past failures in the Azteca and start new.
Regaining the Azteca is the first step to qualifying.
The option to play in a different stadium is a possible solution. But to do so would only hinder future performances in the Azteca.
On October 11th with Vucetich at the helm El Tri will get a chance to retake the Azteca against Panama.
Mexico’s new manager must develop a plan for La Marea Roja. With the possibility of the Azteca turning on El Tri its not going to be easy.
Vucetich should learn from de la Torre’s errors against Honduras and not permit the opponent so much possession. Mexico must kill Panama early to avoid the pressure of the Azteca.
Which is easier said than done. But with a new manager and a new plan of attack Mexico must use Vucetich’s scheme to their advantage. As Vucetich’s tactics will catch Panama off guard.
Vucetich must reiterate the importance of striking early. Time is not El Tri’s friend. Every second matters and Panama will attempt to run the clock.
But, if Mexico can score a couple of goals early and get the Azteca on their side the monster will be Panama’s burden.
Everything is riding on El Tri’s clash with Panama. El Tri have to win to stay alive and in contention of a World Cup birth.