Still hurt after the loss to Honduras in Mexico City, the Mexican national team will now have to face its greatest CONCACAF rival, the United States, in what will be a critical and difficult match for the visiting team.
After firing its commander, Jose Manuel ” Chepo ” de la Torre, after the Honduran loss, the Mexican National team finds itself under new leadership, but a familiar helmsman in Luis Fernando Tena, who achieved what many believed was the impossible, beating all odds, he left the London Olympics with a gold medal around his neck.
Now Tena again, is face with a difficult task; he must face Mexico’s greatest and most complicated CONCACAF rival in a crucial game, in a city which always seems to crush Mexico’s dreams of advancing in playoff rounds, Columbus, Ohio.
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The truth is that in 41 years Mexico has not won on American soil within the panorama of World Cup qualifying, the last time it did was in September 1972, by a score of 2-1 in Los Angeles, California. After this latest victory, the Mexican National team has played the team of stripes and banners on six occasions, with less than stellar results, 2 draws and 4 defeats.
A loss against the USA would be a disaster for Tena and his team, as they find themselves in 4th place in the World Cup Qualifiers. Mexico must leave Ohio with a win, as a Honduras win or draw could complicate Mexico’s dreams of going to Brazil next summer.
But, there is one silver lining for this team, and that is… Tena. Despite finding himself in a position he did not want to be again, but under the insistence of De la Torre, he wears the difficult task of once again restoring hope in the Mexican team. Will he be able to duplicate what he did in London? Mexico will just have to wait…
Follow Felipe Valenzuela on twitter @valenzuelafelip