Judging by the ticket numbers, Mexican fans are taking their team’s loss to the United States and floundering hopes for World Cup qualification pretty seriously. Ahead of Mexico’s final home match in the Hexagonal, on Friday against fellow fourth-place contender Panama, only 40 percent of Estadio Azteca’s capacity has been sold.
That means more than 60,000 seats remain available in the 104,000-capacity stadium, according to La Afición. For the last home match, against Honduras, 100,000 fans walked through the gates, despite the team’s dire situation.
The 2-1 loss, followed by another 2-0 defeat to the United States at Columbus Crew Stadium, led to a dearth of interest in attending Friday’s game. Tickets went on sale Sept. 23, just a couple weeks after those disastrous results, and fans clearly still have a bitter recollection of their team’s performances.
Mexico sits behind Panama in fifth place right now, trailing on goals scored, but El Tri could climb as high as third with wins over Panama and Costa Rica in its final two matches. After playing Mexico, Panama goes home to host the U.S. in a tough must-win game to close the Hexagonal, while Honduras, currently in third place, plays against Costa Rica and at Jamaica.
El Tri still has everything to play for, but perhaps its fans are less confident.