Who would have thought this Friday’s game would mean everything for Mexico in order to get a ticket to World Cup Brazil in 2014, after having a successful campaign just a year ago in the Summer Olympics, where Gold was the order of the day
At the beginning of the qualifying process, everyone said Mexico would sail through quite easily, when in reality it has been the exact opposite both at home and away.
In total, Mexico has scored a total of 5 goals but that alone is not what makes Mexico disappointing. The stat that does is their recent record at Estadio Azteca.
Estadio Azteca is known for being one of the most sacred grounds for the National Team, and until this past month Mexico had not lost a qualifying match at home since 2001. In this unlucky campaign to qualify, Mexico have scored two goals, drew three games 0-0 and lost 2-1.
These results have made fans scared and worried that they won’t make the World Cup but the media in Mexico, believes they will make it despite this sudden collapse. During this period, Mexico have changed coaches three times and never imagined how hard it would be, and what might be coming their way.
In June Mexico saw their qualifying matches both end in 0-0 result and as result fans already wanted Chepo de La Torre out for not being able to adapt to changes against the CONCACAF rivals.
The Mexico Federation did not see it that way and kept him on for the Gold Cup where they would lose in the semi-finals to Panama 2-1, failing to go finals for first time since 2005.
The Federation still kept the coach, and it was not until the loss against Honduras at Azteca that Chepo got fired.
Even after that Mexico couldn’t rebound and in the next game under new head coach Luis Fernando Tena, lost Dos a Cero to the USA. Mexico then replaced Tena with Victor Manuel Vucetich who they hope can lead Mexico to a two game win streak, which would give them playoff against New Zealand automatically.
What has been most crucial during this campaign is that teams in CONCACAF have gotten better, and the USA feels like they have earned a place as the best in the region. Despite all of these losses Mexico still have a chance of making it, and a win against Panama on Friday would just about seal it.
In a conference call this week Panamanian Gabriel Torres said Panama would qualify for Brazil. For Torres this might have been ill-advised, but with how bad Mexico has been playing anything is possible.
This writer feels it is the end of the Mexico reign and for first time since 1990, won’t make the World Cup because it is to little to late.