Mexico grades: Persistence pays off
The big story, of course, will be Mexico's disallowed goals. Giovani dos Santos could have scored two against Cameroon, and he will be understandably frustrated after Friday's match. Either way, Oribe Peralta emerged as a hero and solidified three points for Mexico in their World Cup opener.
Mexico's match against Cameroon was a must-win. A huge sigh of relief likely emanated from Mexico fans all across the world, but Brazil awaits El Tri and will be a much bigger test for the squad.
Here are my player grades for Mexico's 1-0 win over Cameroon.
Guillermo Ochoa (GK) 7.5/10
Not too much of a test against Cameroon, but Ochoa was able to step up in goal when needed. Good game for "Memo," and a beautiful save late in the game.
Paul Aguilar (RB) 6.5/10
Aguilar came off as a strong threat in the early stages of the match but began to quiet down as the game progressed. Luckily for Aguilar and the rest of Mexico's defense, Cameroon focused more of their energy on playing defense instead of scoring.
Francisco Rodriguez (CB) 6.5/10
Rodriguez made some questionable mistakes in the first half but held his own defensively for the most part. His pace wasn't detrimental for the squad today, but it could be fatal against Brazil or Croatia.
Rafael Marquez (CB) 7.5/10
Great game from Marquez. The veteran was able to control the back of the defensive line and helped create some wonderful long passes and crosses going into the 18-yard-box. Marquez also did a great job sneaking into the midfield and being vital in creating Mexico's chances.
Hector Moreno (CB) 6.5/10
The Espanyol defender still seems to be slightly out of form. He did well with his clearances, but his link-up play with his other defenders is still leaving much to be desired. Luckily, he wasn't able to make too many mistakes defensively.
Miguel Layun (LB) 6/10
Like Aguilar, Layun started off the game as one of Mexico's biggest threats and then gradually became less influential for El Tri. Layun could be one of Mexico's better players and needs to have a bigger presence in the attack.
Hector Herrera (AM) 7.5/10
Herrera should continue to be selected to Mexico's starting XI. The Porto midfielder helped control the middle of the pitch and was able to help create Peralta's goal. Mexico will more than likely continue to rely on Herrera as a catalyst in the attack.
Jose Juan Vazquez (CM) 7.5/10
Surprising game for Vazquez. He had an immense amount of pressure going into the World Cup and was able to easily deal with anything Cameroon threw at him. His passing was nearly perfect and his work with the midfield was excellent.
Andres Guardado (AM) 6.5/10
Guardado worked well going forward but had some difficulties with some of his passes and crosses. If he can refine his touch on the ball, he should be able to create some better plays in the next couple of games.
Giovani dos Santos (ST) 8/10
Probably the hardest-working player on the field for Mexico today. He should have had three goals.
Oribe Peralta (ST) 7.5/10
A bit quiet at times, especially in the first half, but all can be forgiven after his goal in the second. Excellent job looking for the rebound after dos Santos' shot.
Marco Fabian (AM) 6.5/10
Not able to do much on the field, although he came very close to scoring after Javier Hernandez's pass into the box in the 82nd minute.
Javier Hernandez (ST) 6/10
Great pass to Fabian late in the game, but wasn't able to do much else as a late sub. Wasted a wonderful opportunity later on.
Carlos Salcido (DM)
Not enough time to justify a grade.