Before the semifinal round of World Cup qualifying began, few expected Mexico to struggle. Sure, Mexico had a seemingly tough group but Mexico is Mexico and all they need to do is show up to succeed, right?
Uh, no. Not right. Not even close.
Mexico has everything to play for on Wednesday in Honduras. While a loss won't necessarily eliminate Mexico, if El Tri does lose and the unthinkable happens, how catastrophic would that be for El Tri? We're talking a setback of several years at least. They'd be in the same boat as Cuba, Canada, Panama... other area minnows who failed to get to the Hexagonal.
I took a look at the scenario in more detail for SI.com.
Once again, though, I'll post the situation here. For Mexico to miss out, Honduras and Jamaica need to combine for a plus-eight margin on Wednesday. So scores of 5-0 and 3-0 or 4-0 and 4-0 or 6-0 and 2-0 would eliminate Mexico.
Not likely? No, probably not. It would be difficult for Mexico to lose by a pair of goals and have Jamaica completely tear apart a Canada team that showed a lot of pride in tying Mexico 2-2 last month.
But it still is a possibility, however slight. And how bad is it that Mexico is even in this situation to begin with?