U.S. become unlikely saviors for Mexico’s World Cup dream
It was a night of mixed emotions for Mexican soccer fans. El Tri lost 2-1 to Costa Rica in a must-win game, but still managed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. Even after recording abysmal performances in the qualifying stages, Mexico has managed to enter the World Cup playoffs after an unlikely hero came to their rescue.
United States 3-2 win over Panama granted Mexico the opportunity to win a berth in the World Cup. The Yanks rallied two late goals to comeback from a goal down to beat Panama. Mexico will now have to prove their worth by taking on New Zealand on 14th and 19th November.
Despite their poor form striker Javier Hernandez remains optimistic about his team’s chances to go deeper into the tournament.
“If you want to see the playoff in the negative, that is one way to look at it but God has given us another chance and that is the way I see it,” Hernandez told Univision after the defeat.
Victor Manuel Vucetich, who happens to be Mexico’s third coach in three months, was also optimistic about his team’s performance. Vucetich admitted that United States had gifted Mexico the opportunity to continue with their World Cup dream.
“My mission with the national team was for us to qualify. We beat Panama and that was the critical point and the combination of results turned out in such a way that we reached our objective,” Vucetich said in his post-match interview.
“As professionals we should play all of our games at our best level of play. If we knew we were going to qualify we would not have done so. We have to praise ethical and professional behavior, in this case by the United States.”
“We worked for six or seven days with this group, we already had the chance to assess them, and now we are going to have a similar amount of time to assess the others, those who play abroad and in Mexico. We're going to beat New Zealand, we have a group of very good players with which to do so.”