Day 2 of the 2015 Copa America remains a one-match evening, as Mexico play Bolivia to complete the picture of Group A, in what should be a very one-sided affair.
The fact that Chile beat Ecuador means Mexico have to win against Bolivia. Sure, two third-place teams also qualify to the quarter finals, but why risk falling into mathematical calculations when it’s possible to do it cleanly?
This is something of a Mexico ‘B’ squad which might give Bolivia a chance. Only four players on the Copa America squad play outside of Mexico and except for the aging Rafael Marquez, none of them have more than six goals for the national team. Marco Fabian of Chivas and Raul Jimenez who hasn’t played much for Atletico Madrid this season will be the key players for El Tri.
One problem for Bolivia? They’re bad. Maybe Sebastian Gamarra is a unique talent, with the 18-year old waiting for his big break at AC Milan. Marcelo Martins Moreno is a good player, showing off his skills in China. But the rest? A weak defense, a midfield that lacks creativity and in short, a team that’s inferior to almost every other participant except for maybe Venezuela and Jamaica.
Bolivia have won the tournament in the past and also have one runner up finish. The title came in 1963 when they hosted the tournament. The runner-up came in 1997, when they hosted the tournament. See a pattern forming? Bolivia won just twice during the World Cup qualifying group, both wins coming at home. Away from home? Two draws and six losses, scoring just five goals in those eight matches.
Even with weaker sides, it’s rare to see Mexico not putting on a show in an international tournament. Their local league is relatively strong and competitive and young talents like Jesus Corona might have chance to stand out and show their worth, like other Mexicans have been able to in international tournaments. If Mexico are to make a long summer out of this one, dropping points against Bolivia is out of the question.