World Cup: Mexico vs. Uruguay: Cuauhtemoc Blanco gets a start

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The formula for Mexico going into its final game in group play Tuesday was simple: Win or tie against Uruguay, and it’s on to the second round. Lose and .... well, it’s on to the second round anyway, barring a miracle finish in the South Africa-France match.

But Coach Javier Aguirre was missing two big pieces of his puzzle, with midfielder Efrain Juarez suspended after earning yellow cards in Mexico’s first two matches and striker Carlos Vela sidelined with a leg injury. Aguirre’s replacements included a huge surprise when he gave Vela’s spot to 37-year-old Cuauhtemoc Blanco. He also gave Blanco the captain’s armband for his 11th World Cup appearance, which ties a 44-year-old Mexico record. Defender Rafael Marquez also started Tuesday, giving him 11 World Cup appearances as well.

Blanco is the third player to captain Mexico in three matches, following Gerardo Torrado and Marquez.

Blanco scored on a penalty kick in Mexico’s 2-0 win over France last week, providing goals in three different World Cups, also a Mexican record. The goal also made him the third-oldest player to score in a World Cup.


Blanco has had trouble playing a full half this spring, much less a full game, but Aguirre has made good use of the team’s oldest player off the bench. So Tuesday’s start was unexpected.

Less surprising was Aguirre’s decision to start Andres Guardado in Juarez’s spot.

The lineups:


GK -- Oscar Perez

D -- Francisco Rodriguez

D -- Carlos Salcido

D -- Rafael Marquez

D -- Ricardo Osorio

MF - Gerardo Torrado

F - Guillermo Franco

F -- Cuauhtemoc Blanco

D -- Hector Moreno

F -- Giovani Dos Santos

MF-- Andres Guardado


GK -- Fernando Muslera

D -- Diego Lugano

D -- Jorge Fucile

D -- Mauricio Victorino

F -- Edinson Cavani

F -- Luis Suarez

F -- Diego Forlan

MF -- Alvero Pereira

MF -- Diego Perez

D -- Maximiliano Perreira

MF -- Egidio Arevalo

-- Kevin Baxter, in Rustenburg, South Africa