Ángel Zaldívar got himself sent off during Mexico’s 1-0 loss to the United States on Tuesday night. But Ángel Zaldívar also believes that the U.S. don’t know how to win. Therefore, they had to resort to playing a “dirty game.” Which is interesting, considering this challenge got him sent off in the 67th minute.
But it seems as though Zaldívar is talking about mind games. Such as 6’4″ U.S. defender Matt Miazga seemingly making fun of Mexico forward Diego Lainez’s height. The América winger stands only 5’6″.
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) September 12, 2018
Yeah, I don’t think any of us can dispute that that’s what Miazga is doing. That doesn’t mean a player should retaliate by going studs up into an opponent, of course. But here we are. Zaldívar doesn’t stop there, though.
“You see what their values are, they don’t know how to win,” he would say via ESPN’s Tom Marshall following the loss. “They poked fun, [and] tried to play a dirty game that honestly we don’t think is how you should play. That’s their game and we couldn’t do anything about it.”
That’s all well and good. In fact, Zaldívar has a bit of a point. The USMNT often doesn’t know how to win. But there’s a big difference between mocking someone on the field (which I’m not saying one should do) and potentially injuring another player (which I’m not accusing Ángel Zaldívar of trying to do either). It’s just not a good look to cry “dirty” when you get a red card for a sloppy, dangerous challenge.
In either case, who says friendlies can’t be fun? The rivalry on the pitch between these two sides isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.