El Tri winning with a different style 

August, 1, 2012

After a pretty routine afternoon, seeing off a feeble Swiss challenge, the road to that Olympic medal is clearer than ever for El Tri. Interestingly, it was a subtle shift from the fearless, all-out attacking strategy that had gotten them there.

Like the pitch, things were a little rough early on for Mexico in Cardiff, but a much-improved second half and an Oribe Peralta strike led to a 1-0 win and a top-of-the-group finish for a Mexico team that looks to be hitting its collective stride and is certainly building confidence heading into the knockout round.

The identity of the quarterfinal opponent won't be found out until later on Wednesday, but by taking first place in Group B, Mexico assured itself of facing the second-place finisher in Group A -- Senegal, Uruguay or Great Britain. Perhaps more importantly, El Tri secured a spot on the opposite side of the draw from gold-medal favorite Brazil.

Things ended just fine on Wednesday, but the day started with some butterflies against a Swiss team that needed to win by multiple goals and proved determined to press the issue. Mexico's defensive line looked shaky, as Jesus Corona, Darvin Chavez and Diego Reyes took turns slipping and sliding on the loose turf, providing the Swiss with several golden opportunities to take an early lead.

Brent Latham is a soccer commentator who covers the youth national teams for ESPN.com. Based in Guatemala, he has attended youth World Cups from Peru to Egypt, and places in between.