Mexico lost their unbeaten status in World Cup qualifying as they fell 3-2 to Honduras – a result that had little effect on El Tri, who were already guaranteed first place in the Hex going into tonight, but which granted Los Catrachos fourth place, and with it, a playoff against Australia.
The result also helped keep the United States from qualifying, as the U.S. failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1986 after a loss to Trinidad and Tobago combined with Panama’s victory over Costa Rica and Honduras’s win against Mexico.
CONCACAF World Cup qualifying wraps up this Tuesday with the final round of Hexagonal games. Mexico and Costa Rica have their spots locked up, but there is one automatic berth as well as the playoff berth still up for grabs, with the United States, Panama, and Honduras all in the running.
Honduras, currently 5th in the standings, will need a positive result when they host Mexico – as well as needing Panama or the U.S. to drop points – to move into either the automatic or the playoff berth.
They had to come from behind to do so, but Mexico remained unbeaten in World Cup qualifying with a 3-1 win against Trinidad and Tobago. El Tri, already qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, remained in first place in the Hexagonal with the victory, while the Soca Warriors were already mathematically eliminated from contention.
With first place facing off against sixth – and nothing to play for for either side – it seemed like Mexico would keep on rolling with another home victory. However, although El Tri had had the better of possession and the run of play for the majority of the game, they weren’t able to turn those stats into goals, despite the encouragement of the vociferous partisan crowd packed into the Estadio Alfonso Lastras.
Mexico has already locked up qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but they’ll look to remain in first place in the Hex when they host Trinidad and Tobago on Friday.
The Soca Warriors are in last place in the standings to El Tri’s first, and they are clinging to qualification hopes by a thread. The best T&T can hope for is a fourth-place finish, which would see them go to the intercontinental playoff, and even that is a slim chance.
The roster is almost identical to the one that faced Panama and Costa Rica in September. Carlos Salcedo and Oribe Peralta are back after missing out last month due to injury, while Oswaldo Alanís and Miguel Layún also join the roster.
Mexico took the lead but couldn’t hold it as Costa Rica scored late to make it 1-1. The draw mathematically guarantees the Ticos will finish in the top four, and it would require a very unlikely series of scenarios to keep them out of the top three and the automatic qualifying spots.
Mexico had a number of chances in the first half, but Keylor Navas’s heroics in goal kept the game goalless until just before halftime. The hosts had chances of their own as well, with Memo Ochoa making several important saves of his own.
Mexico mathematically qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after Friday’s 1-0 win against Panama, but El Tri will look to maintain first in the Hex – and their unbeaten record – when they travel to Costa Rica this Tuesday.
The Ticos are currently in second place in the Hexagonal standings with 14 points – three behind Mexico – and they also picked up an important win on Friday, when they beat the U.S. 2-0. They would mathematically clinch their own spot in Russia with a victory on Tuesday; they can also clinch with a draw if Panama fails to win.
Mexico remained unbeaten in World Cup qualifying and mathematically guaranteed their spot in the 2018 World Cup in Russia with a 1-0 victory against Panama on Friday night. The loss saw the Canaleros drop into fifth in the Hex.
The first half saw El Tri dominate possession but fail to do much with it. José Calderón had little to do in goal for Panama as Mexico struggled to put their chances on frame. Halftime rolled around with the game still 0-0 and with antsy fans beginning to whistle and boo.
Mexico is unbeaten in World Cup qualifying and they’ll look to continue that streak when they host Panama in the Estadio Azteca this Friday. El Tri currently tops the Hexagonal with 14 points from six games, and a win against Panama could seal their spot in next summer’s event, depending on the result of Trinidad and Tobago vs Honduras.
As for Panama, they currently sit fourth – in the intercontinental playoff spot – with seven points. The Canaleros have scored just four goals in their six games to date, and they’ll be facing the stingiest defense in this one; Mexico has allowed just two goals in the Hex, both against the United States.
Ahead of September’s World Cup qualifying games, Mexico has launched another campaign in an attempt to quiet the homophobic goal-kick chant that is ubiquitous in its stadiums.
With the general “Abrazados por el Fútbol” (Embraced by Soccer) campaign, and the “Ya Párale” (Stop It Now) campaign – aimed specifically at ending the now infamous chant – not having an apparent effect, the newest effort is #GritaMéxico (Shout “Mexico”).
Momento de demostrar que tenemos la mejor afición…