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WC Qualification CONCACAF

  • 16 October 2013
  • • 02:30
  • • Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, San José
  • Referee: W. Lopez
  • • Attendance: 35000
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Costa Rica-Mexico Preview: El Tri clinging on to automatic qualification hopes

Costa Rica-Mexico Preview: El Tri clinging on to automatic qualification hopes

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Victor Manuel Vucetich's side need Honduras to slip up at Jamaica if they are to have a chance of pipping them to third spot and avoid a play-off with New Zealand

Mexico travel to Costa Rica on Wednesday knowing their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup are still very much in the balance.

Victor Manuel Vucetich's men head into their final Concacaf qualifier in fourth place following a dramatic victory in the new coach's first game in charge against Panama on Friday.

Mexico are now in pole position for a spot in the intercontinental play-off with New Zealand in November, but appear unlikely to overhaul third-placed Honduras and seal automatic qualification.

Vucetich's side would need three points against Costa Rica, a victory for bottom-placed Jamaica over Honduras and a two-goal swing in their favour to finish third.

The visitors should take confidence from their success over Panama - which came about following Raul Jimenez's sensational overhead kick - but face a tough opponent in Costa Rica, who suffered only their second defeat of the final round of qualification in Honduras three days ago.

Jorge Luis Pinto's side - who have already ensured their place at next year's finals - have also not lost at home since September 2012.

It was Mexico who triumphed on that day as they ran out 2-0 victors in the second round of qualification, but the hosts will be eager to exact revenge against a team they have not beaten since 2001.

Defeat for Mexico could allow Panama - who are three points behind in fifth ahead of their game with pool winners United States - to move into the play-off spot. 

The onus will be on the likes of Javier Hernandez, who has scored five times in qualifying, and Raul Jimenez to help them avoid that scenario.

A draw will be enough for Mexico to wrap up their place in the play-off, but Vucetich's men will be determined to record successive victories for the first time since July in San Jose. 

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