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 »  Home  »  Sports  »  (E) AGUIRRE NOT SCARED BY CROATIA
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  02/26/2002 | Sports | Unrated
Mexico national team coach Javier Aguirre was surprisingly upbeat about his team’s chances in their World Cup opener against Croatia, despite El Tricolores recent 2-1 loss to Yugoslavia in a friendly in Phoenix, Arizona on Wednesday. 
The man responsible for Mexico’s turnaround over the last six months had previously stated he was ‘losing sleep’ over the Croatia encounter, but something about the loss has made him more optimistic. 
"I've seen Croatia and now they don't scare me at all," Aguirre was quoted as saying on Reuters upon arrival in Mexico City. "They are very orderly but they have a hard time scoring." 
In winning Group 6 of UEFA qualifying, Croatia scored 15 goals in 8 matches, but 12 of those goals came in three matches against the two teams – Latvia and San Marino - at the bottom of the table. 
The challenge for Mexico will be scoring goals. Despite controlling a large amount of possession and creating opportunities – especially after Dejan Stankovic was sent off with 11 minutes remaining, El Tri could not find the back of the net. 
The overall performance and motivation of the players was frustrating to Aguirre. 
"I'm dissatisfied with the result and the passivity and apathy that we showed after the (first) goal we received," Aguirre went on to say. "My teams can have good, poor or average performances, but they must have a good attitude." 
Mexico, will face Croatia, Italy and Ecuador in group G of the World Cup finals in South Korea and Japan. 
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