Hours after Mexico clinched their seventh Gold Cup title to set up a Confederations Cup playoff with the U.S. national team in October, reports claim manager Miguel Herrera has punched a journalist.
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The incident in question has yet to be confirmed, but Herrera is alleged to have punched TV Azteca’s Christian Martinolli at Philadelphia Airport on Monday morning as the media and Mexican national team got ready to head home following the 3-1 win over Jamaica in the final on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
If the reports are true, Herrera could be in a lot of trouble, as this controversy add to the question marks already surrounding as the conduct of Mexico’s fans and players throughout the 2015 Gold Cup. In various matches across the U.S., fans of Mexico were accused of showering opposition players with trash from the stands and multiple on the field issues regarding simulation and controversial penalty kicks engulfed El Tri’s success.
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For now, back to the action on the pitch, and following their record Gold Cup success, Mexico will now head to the Pasadena Rose Bowl on Oct. 9 for a huge one-off playoff game against the U.S. for the right to play in Russia in 2017 and represent CONCACAF at the Confederations Cup.
Here is a snippet from the folks over at CSN Philly, as Herrera spoke about the upcoming playoff against the 2013 Gold Cup winners, the U.S.
“It’s just a step, it’s just a step,” Mexico manager Miguel Herrera said through a translator. “We have to go for the October game, we have our objectives.”
The tournament victory, Mexico’s first since 2011 and seventh overall, guarantees El Tri a playoff match against the 2013 Gold Cup winner, USMNT, on Oct. 9, for an invitation to the 2017 Confederations Cup at the Rose Bowl.
“It’s going to be a very difficult game,” Herrera said. “It’s the United States, which we know is a strong team, it’s a team that does things very well. We’re going to give it our all, we’ll be ready for the October game.
“There’s a step forward, we want to go for the Confederations.”
Whether or not these reports of Herrera striking a journalist turn out to be true, there will be plenty of hype between now and October as the U.S. and Mexico gear up for an epic clash which will not only decide who represents CONCACAF at the next Confederations Cup, but the match could also have a huge bearing on Herrera and Jurgen Klinsmann’s futures as managers of their respective national teams.