COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Most pundits believe Mexico coach Sven-Goran Eriksson will soon be out of a job in the wake of El Tri’s 2-0 loss to CONCACAF rivals United States on Wednesday in World Cup qualifying. But the Swede vowed to keep pushing forward.
“We go on working,” he said in his postgame press conference. “ I think we have a good team. As a coach, I must be sure that the heads don’t go down. Life goes on. We have nine more games [to play in the Hexagonal round of qualifying].”
For periods of the match, Mexico, which was playing without several regular contributors, including Gerrardo Torrado and Andres Guardado, were clearly outclassed by the Americans. But Giovanni Dos Santos had a golden chance to open the scoring just five minutes into the game. Dos Santos later had an even better opportunity, in the second half, when the ball fell to him with a wide open goal, but he somehow slipped and missed from about two yards.
“We are not the best team in the world to score goals,” Eriksson admitted. “But the team, the attitude, I’m very happy about these. We have to go on working, we must create chances and put the ball in the net.”
The situation went from bad to worse for the Mexicans when captain Rafael Marquez was red-carded in the 65th minute. The Barcelona star joined the coach on the dais to face the media and made a statement, apologizing for his ejection. He did not take any questions and left before the press conference began in earnest.
“He already said this in the locker room in front of the players and the coaches,” Eriksson revealed. “He is very, very proud to be playing for Mexico. I think it’s very well done that he did it.”
Greg Lalas, Goal.com
Watch a Goal.com clip of Sven-Goran Eriksson at the postgame press conference.