SportsNation Blog Archives Mexico
There's a lot at stake today for Mexico in the first leg of its World Cup qualifying series with New Zealand. A spot in the World Cup, sure, but also pride, the jobs of the coaching staff, and potentially up to $600 million in revenue from TV rights, ticket sales and the like. Mexico needed a U.S. win over Panama in stoppage time to get this far, but despite their struggles, El Tri will likely be well-motivated against a vulnerable New Zealand side. A World Cup without Mexico might be easier for the U.S., but there'd be a deficit in excitement if the two sides had no chance of meeting in Brazil.
Here's a sampling of what readers had to say in our Facebook conversation on the story:
Winners at home?
Mexico is on its fourth coach in six weeks, a situation that doesn't lend itself well to stability or tactical coherence.
USA's win benefits Mexico
The United States and Mexico are fierce rivals on the pitch, but El Tri found itself in debt to its longtime enemy Tuesday night. Mexico's World Cup hopes are still alive after a 3-2 Team USA win over Panama. It'll have to play New Zealand in a winner-take-all match if it wants to attempt a World Cup run in 2014, but for now, it has Team USA's backups to thank for taking their match against Panama seriously.
U.S. into Gold Cup final
Team USA's unprecedented run of victories continued Wednesday night with a 3-1 win over Honduras. Landon Donovan scored twice, Eddie Johnson added a third goal, and the whole team in general looked unbeatable. The only downside: coach Jurgen Klinsmann being sent off late in the game for arguing, potentially leading to his absence from the final against Panama on Sunday.
Team USA might have benefited from the snow in their win against Costa Rica, but unless there's a blizzard coming that everyone missed, they won't have that luxury in Mexico. Tonight's World Cup qualifier in Estadio Azteca is a daunting one for Team USA, which is 0-5-1 in qualifiers when visiting Mexico. Can the U.S. pull off a win this time?