After an agonic pass into the playoff for Brazil 2014, Mexico head coach Victor Manuel Vucetich assured the fans that Mexico will reach the FIFA World Cup. It took a U.S. victory over Panama to give El Tri another shot at reaching Brazil, leaving them in 4th place; requalification zone.
Vucetich has only been at the helm of El Tri for two games. He took over after game eight of the hexagonal. Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre had qualified Mexico into the hexagonal with a perfect 6 wins, scoring 15 goals and receiving only two.
In the final hexagonal the problems arose. A series of draws, bad performances at the FIFA Confederations Cup and CONCACAF Gold Cup made the familiar chant, “fuera Chepo” a constant at Mexico games. He was dismissed after the second “Aztecaso” loss to Honduras. A couple days later Luis Fernando Tena resigned after losing to the USMNT in Columbus, Ohio.
Vucetich was given the task of getting Mexico into Brazil with two games left in qualification. The most likely scenario was to reach the playoff since Honduras had pretty much secured their pass. Mexico needed to defeat direct challenger Panama then try their luck in Costa Rica. They pushed their luck to the limit, with a little help (big understatement) from the USMNT. Now El Tri must face New Zealand to reach Brazil.
“We will defeat New Zealand,” Vucetich said after being asked if his team would reach the FIFA World Cup. “We have a good group of players to reach it.”
He also said that he did not have to thank the USMNT for their performance in helping them reach the playoff.
“As professionals we must play all out in every game,” Vucetich said. “We have to value the ethics and professionalism, in this case of the USMNT.”
The pass gives Vucetich the opportunity to work and get a team together to take on New Zealand. In the next couple of weeks Vucetich plans on holding small camps to observe players as they prepare for their destiny in November.
He did admit that the qualification to the playoff was not what the fans were expecting, but he did reach the first goal for what he was contacted for.
“My arrival to the national team is to qualify. We won against Panama, which was fundamental. After that the combination of results we needed came out. We met the first objective,” Vucetich concluded.