After a 2-0 loss at the United States on September 10, 2013, Mexico (pictured) finds itself in fifth place heading into the last two matchdays of World Cup Qualifying for Brazil 2014. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Following a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the United States on Tuesday in the CONCACAF Hexagonal’s eighth matchday, Mexico vowed that it will fight until the end to make it to the World Cup.
El Tri now sits fifth in the table behind fourth-place Panama based on having scored fewer goals with both sides on eight points.
Luis Fernando Tena, who was handed the Mexican coaching reigns after Friday’s 2-1 loss at home to Honduras resulted in Jose Manuel de la Torre’s dismissal, praised his team’s effort against the Americans.
“The players gave everything of themselves,” said the 55-year-old. “They have fought. In the end came the desperation, but they gave it their all.
“We are a team. We are all at fault. Each one has to accept their self-criticism.”
Mexico turned a strong first-half performance at Crew Stadium, creating several goal-scoring chances. A productive and consistent final touch has been difficult to establish in the final round, as evidenced by four goals scored in eight games.
Midfielder Christian Gimenez does no doubt that the team is going through a bad moment, but he believes that the team can overcome the challenge that they face.
“The chances that we have we can’t finish,” said the Cruz Azul midfielder, 32, who earned his third cap against the United States. “It’s a complicated situation, it’s painful for us, but we have to continue on and I think at most what we can do is continue fighting.”
Next for Mexico is a head-to-head clash at home against Panama, a team that defeated it twice in July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup. Four days later, a tricky away encounter against already-qualified Costa Rica will decide the Tricolor’s fate.
“We are going to kill ourselves working until the end,” declared winger Andres Guardado.
There is no doubt that Mexico will do its best to avoid missing the World Cup for the first time since 1990.