Mexico World Cup Qualification Remains In Doubt

Normally one of the most assured names to appear on your World Cup wall chart – Mexico could, quite remarkably, on the verge of missing out on a place in Brazil next summer.

Defeat on Friday night to Honduras, only their second in 77 home qualification matches, has left them sitting in a position that would only provide them with a play-off against New Zealand. You might expect them to still progress from such a contest, yet this is a side that have won just one of their seven group games – whilst there is no guarantee that they will even make that do or die clash.

Next up is arguably the toughest trip that Mexico could face, with an away game against the USA on Tuesday. The States themselves have not quite been as dominant as they might have hoped, with a defeat on Friday night seeing them relinquish top spot to their opponents, Costa Rica. Nevertheless it is difficult to see a Mexican side so lacking in confidence and without a manager – Jose Manuel Chepo de la Torre was sacked following their most recent defeat, picking up anything from their great rivals.

Defeat in America could potentially see Panama move into the play-off slot, although they will need to improve on the performance they showed in drawing 0-0 at home to Jamaica if they are to get past a buoyant Honduras.

Even if Panama don’t win they should get a chance to overhaul the Mexicans in October in the penultimate fixture – although winning in The Azteca still looks a tough ask, even with the hosts obvious problems. That said should they avoid defeat against a side who have as yet only been able to win once in seven games, then they might get a chance to overhaul Mexico. The Aztecs final clash is a challenging trip to group leaders Costa Rica, not the game you want when you are needing a win. Panama finish at home to The USA, again a tricky fixture but with home advantage they could achieve the unthinkable and send Mexico crashing out.

Whoever does come in to lead Mexico undoubtedly will take on a squad full of talent, the majority of other nations on the continent can only dream of calling on the likes of Javier Hernandez, Andres Guardado and Giovanni Dos Santos. Further to that having won the Olympics last year there is plenty of young and exciting talent to turn to. The main problem throughout qualification has been breaking sides down – Mexico have drawn five of seven and in the process scored just four goals. It is a quite shocking return when you consider their attack luxuries, teams will of course be overly cautious against them given that they are the big fish, nevertheless it is still a stunningly poor statistic.

It still remains unlikely that Panama will overhaul Mexico, after all they themselves have only won once. Along with that it is not inconceivable that Mexico won’t still make it without the need of a play-off, however for a side with their great history and tradition this is a campaign that will be very much viewed as an embarrassing failure.