Mexico’s shock 1-0 World Cup win over Germany was the result of six months’ planning, coach Juan Carlos Osorio said on Sunday, adding that he had told his team to “play with the love of winning rather than the fear of losing”.
“We started drawing up a plan six months ago, we had to change some parts because of injuries, but basically using players who are very fast down the flanks,” he told reporters after the match.
“We decided on (goalscorer) Hirving Lozano as he is our fastest player. We broke out in fast attacks, and we had numerous real chances to open the scoring before we actually did.”
The Colombian coach, who has had a testy relationship with the Mexican media, lauded his players for their effort and also launched an aside at his critics.
Osorio said he tried to shield the players from the criticism which has come his way so they could concentrate exclusively on the match.
“The phrase was ‘play with the love of winning and not the fear of losing’,” an emotional Osorio told reporters. “They competed very well and they defended with their lives.”
“I tried to make sure that the pressure is all on me, so that all they have to do is go out and do what they did today,” he said. “If we win, the credit goes to the players and if not, it’s my fault …and that’s the world of football.”
Osorio had to endure vociferous criticism after a 7-0 defeat by Chile at the Copa Centenario in 2016 and again after their performances at the Confederations Cup last year, including a semi-final defeat to Germany.
“I’d like to thank all the people who supported me, and also those who did not, and I hope we can achieve more wins like today” he said pointedly.
“I dedicate this win to my parents…and to God who gave me the patience to endure so much here.”
Osorio also made a quick reference to an incident before the World Cup when a magazine published photos of a number of players enjoying a late night party.
The Mexican federation has not taken any action because it happened in their free time.
“I am very satisfied, this is very important for the future of Mexican football….we will celebrate responsibly, recover well and plan for the next match,” he said.