Mexico City, Mexico (4E Sports) – Despite a 2-1 loss to Costa Rica, Mexico kept its slim chances of making it to the 2014 World Cup alive after the United States defeated Panama, 3-2, in the CONCACAF qualifying match.
The win by the Americans boosted the Mexicans to fourth place. They will take on New Zealand on Nov. 14 and Nov. 19 in the international playoff for a spot in soccer’s biggest event.
“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,” Manchester United striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez said after the game.
Victor Manuel Vucetich, Mexico’s third coach in three months, led his team to a victory over Panama Friday at Estadio Azteca, but his team could not squeeze out the win over Costa Rica.
“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.
“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,” he added.
Vucetich said he will use the long break to improve Mexico’s organization. He said that within two weeks, he will start a new set of week-to-week training sessions.
“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,” he said.
New Zealand and Trinidad-Tobago played to scoreless draw in a friendly Tuesday.