Monday 22 January 2018

Uruguay and Mexico insist they won't manufacture a stalemate

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez robustly denied the suggestion his side and Mexico would manufacture a draw to ensure both teams make the last 16 of the World Cup.

"It's a creation of suspicions and a lack of respect for all those that are taking part in the game and the coaching staff," Tabarez said last night ahead of the top-of-the-table Group A clash. "There is nothing premeditated."

Both teams have an incentive to win, as the victors are likely to avoid a potential clash with in-form Argentina but Tabarez said that would not be a motivation.

"We want to come top but not so we avoid Argentina. What happens if they lose and we win and then we end up facing each other?" he said.

Both Mexico and Uruguay have four points, three clear of South Africa and imploding 1998 winners France, meaning a point for each side would suffice.

Mexico coach Javier Aguirre echoed the views of his counterpart.

"We are going to try and win," he said. "The law of the Mexican side is to win. If, as a consequence of what happens on the pitch, there's a draw or a defeat and we both qualify, then we'll both be happy. But I can guarantee that Mexico are going to go out there to try and win."

The Mexicans, who have reached the last 16 in four straight tournaments since 1994, also have the added incentive of avoiding a clash with Argentina in the second round if they can top the group.

Aguirre continued: "My players are very relaxed and know they can be either first or second in the group.

"They know they have to be fully focused because we still haven't achieved anything, so we have no reason to feel happy.

"Mathematically, we still don't have our ticket to the next round and we have to try and take those three points."

Irish Independent

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