Mexico missed the inaugural competition in New Zealand in 2008, but qualified for the last two tournaments. As CONCACAF runners-up, El Tri secured their place at Trinidad and Tobago 2010 and claimed their first-ever World Cup win at this level (4-0 over South Africa). They were unable to make it out of the group stage, however, and suffered the same fate at Azerbaijan 2012, but did add another win – this time against New Zealand.
Mexico’s CONCACAF qualifying campaign had to endure a shaky start. Following draws against Haiti and Jamaica, it was the 7-0 win over El Salvador which saw El Tri seal second place in the group ahead of the Jamaicans and advance to the semi-finals. There, the young Mexicans secured their finals berths in the most satisfying way imaginable for a Tri team as they eliminated eternal rivals USA. Following a 1-1 draw, Mexico triumphed in a penalty shoot-out, and also took the title for the first time in their history by then prevailing against Canada, also via a shoot-out .
The objective is clear. Expectations are high this time around and Mexico are eager to take a step forward in the competition. “It's a big test for us because we knocked the best team in the world out of the biggest competition,” said coach Leonardo Cuellar. “Now we have to redouble our efforts in our final preparation to ensure CONCACAF and Mexico are successful in this World Cup.”