Embattled Mexico coach Jose Manuel Chepo de la Torre was sacked by the Mexican FA after Friday’s loss in FIFA World Cup™ qualifying to Honduras. The announcement came just hours after the 2-1 defeat which leaves El Tri in fourth-place in the six-team field and currently out of the running for a direct ticket to Brazil 2014.
Mexico, current Olympic champions and 13-time FIFA World Cup participants, suffered an unprecedented collapse under the man known popularly as Chepo, who took over the reins at the start of 2011. Not even the normally intimidating Estadio Azteca could offer the team shelter in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying. Their first three games at home ended in goalless draws and the loss to Honduras, who came back from a goal down, was simply a road too far for fans and officials.
It was only Mexico’s second loss in 77 qualifying matches at the venerable old ground. The first so-called Aztecazo came in 2001 when Hernan Medford sealed victory for Costa Rica. The Mexicans now sit just one point ahead of Panama in the Hexagonal standings with three games to go. On Tuesday, they head to Ohio for a date with arch-rivals USA in dire need of points.
A side not lacking in talent, Gio dos Santos, Javier Chicharito Hernandez and co, will need to dig deep against the Stars and Stripes in what many observers are calling a must-win game.