On Friday night, Mexico suffered their first home defeat at the Estadio Azteca since 2001. Despite Mexico taking the lead in the first half, Honduras fought back and ultimately won 2-1. The visitors’ win means that Mexico drops down to fourth place in CONCACAF qualifying, just one point above Panama. As the fourth-placed finisher goes on to play against New Zealand, winner of Oceania, for the right to compete in Brazil…well, let’s just say Mexican fans aren’t too pleased at their team’s performance.
Speaking after last night’s loss, Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre stated that he would not be resigning from his position, likening a resignation to “running away.” But the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol (FMF) took that decision out of de la Torre’s hands, announcing on its website that the coach had been removed from his position. Into his place steps Luis Fernando Tena, who will take charge for Mexico’s visit to Columbus on Tuesday, where they will face the USMNT in what is now a must-win match for El Tri.
De la Torre, often known as “Chepo”, took charge of the national team at the beginning of 2011, marking his debut with a 2-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina. Later that year, Mexico won the Gold Cup, but faltered in the 2013 tournament. After beginning Gold Cup play with a group stage loss to Panama, El Tri were then eliminated by the same foe in the semi-finals. Will Tena fare any better, or will Mexico miss out on the 2014 World Cup?