Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio urged action against repetitive fouling after his team was on the receiving end of 24 fouls in their 2-1 win over South Korea at the World Cup on Saturday.
South Korea received four yellow cards while committing the highest number of fouls in a game of any team so far in Russia. They were also whistled for 23 fouls in their first game against Sweden, tied for the second-most with Morocco’s 23 against Portugal.
“Usually, I don’t like to talk about referees but there was something I didn’t like and that was that there were 24 fouls against us,” said Osorio, whose own team committed seven fouls in the Group F match.
“It’s very easy to analyse who committed them. For the good of football, I hope they take the necessary precautions and measures.”
Mexico, who have six points from two games and are on the brink of a last-16 place, began their campaign with a stunning 1-0 win over Germany, but Osorio said it was important for his side not to get carried away by the euphoria.
“Since November, we have been developing a plan for regenerative work after matches,” said the Colombian. “We must make sure the euphoria doesn’t get the better of us and dedicate our efforts to recovering for the next game [against Sweden].”
Osorio, who is hoping to break Mexico’s run of six successive round of 16 World Cup eliminations, said he spent a lot of time making sure complacency did not creep in after their win over Germany.
“What often happens against teams with less history is that the human being tends to relax but we dedicated all week to making sure we did not let that happen and fortunately the message didn’t get lost among all the praise the team has received,” he said.
He also paid tribute to their huge following of fans, who greatly outnumbered their opponents and refrained from using the controversial chant that earned them a fine from FIFA in their opener.
“It’s very comforting and moving to see how the Mexican fans follow their team. I’m very moved listening to the national anthem, so imagine how the players feel,” he added. “I don’t think there are many groups of supporters who show this unlimited passion for their team.”
Osorio also remembered the bitter criticism he was subjected to before the World Cup.
“Football is about opinions, it’s very subjective and it changes all the time,” he said. “The analysis is more about the result so the most appropriate thing for us is to keep preparing and not get carried out.
“We must prepare for the next game as if it is the last and get as far in the World Cup as we can.”