Vucetich praises Costa Rica, looks toward playoff

Mexico head coach Victor Manual Vucetich (second from left) during his team's World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica on October 15, 2013, in San Jose. (Photo: Imagenes en Costa Rica)


SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Despite closing out its CONCACAF Hexagonal schedule with a 2-1 loss at Costa Rica, Mexico remained in fourth place and will face New Zealand in a two-legged playoff next month for a spot in the 2014 World Cup.

Panama was minutes away from overtaking the Mexicans, but it conceded two stoppage-time goals and fell 3-2 to the United States.

In his post-match press conference at the Estadio Nacional, Mexico head coach Victor Manuel Vucetich praised Costa Rica’s effort in victory.

“Costa Rica is a team that works well, they know well their offensive and defensive mechanism,” said the former Monterrey manager.  “You can tell they have worked on it for a long time and they know what they are doing.”

Mexico now turns its attention to the Intercontinental Playoff, a series that will require the CONCACAF power to prepare for New Zealand, which went undefeated in Oceania qualifying (8-1-0). 

“We will have more time to be able to work on what is coming up,” Vucetich added.  “We’ll have time to go on adapting the team and looking to qualify for the World Cup.”