Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Mexico lost to Honduras 1-0 on Wednesday night in San Pedro Sula in a result that sent both teams through to next year's Hexagonal. Jamaica beat Canada 3-0 but fell short of advancing on goal differential.

Honduras, though, was the only team to actually earn their ticket on Wednesday. Mexico closed out a horrid three-game road stretch that saw them pick up just one of a possible nine points. However, the one point was enough to get Mexico through.

Final group standings:
1. Honduras 4-2-0, 12 points, plus-four
2. Mexico 3-2-1, 10 points, plus-three
3. Jamaica 3-2-1, 10 points, even
4. Canada 0-4-2, 2 points, minus-seven

In the end, Mexico went through on goal differential.

The dust won't settle for weeks if not months on Mexico's current state. A team that fancies itself a World Cup quarterfinalist has struggled to get past the semifinal round, a phase that should be merely a stepping stone for the Hexagonal.

The problem, though, is not with the coaching staff. Sven-Goran Eriksson may very well be in the hot seat but a coaching change would be the worst thing Mexico could do right now. Since Ricardo Lavolpe was not brought back following the 2006 World Cup, El Tri went through Hugo Sanchez in a matter of 18 months, as he went from the sure-fire, number one choice to the problems behind Mexico's ills. To blame this horrid performance on another coach would be misguided blame once again.

Mexico is clearly not the same team as it has been in the past. Whether it's the field that has all but leveled out in CONCACAF or Mexico's lack of a true superstar or the mentality or whatever, something is amiss with El Tri.

The Hexagonal field is set, and at this point, based on how each team played in the semifinal round, Mexico is not a sure thing to advance.

Costa Rica
El Salvador
Trinidad & Tobago
United States

The way Mexico played on Wednesday, games in the US and Costa Rica would be sure losses while Trinidad would also stand a good chance to win. Only El Salvador would be hard pressed to beat El Tri.

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