Mexico's Ochoa: World Cup Berth Anything But Secure

Mexico have won three consecutive World Cup qualifying matches but a spot in South Africa is not a guarantee yet, Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa said.
After four games in the Hexagonal, Mexico sat on three points. Three games later, Mexico have 12 points and have moved into third place in the Hexagonal table.

However, El Tri cannot relax now, players cautioned.

“There are three complicated games left (against Honduras, El Salvador, and Trinidad & Tobago), difficult games that we have to play as if they were championship finals,” Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa said at press conference as Mexico gets ready to host regional rivals Honduras on Wednesday.  

For Ochoa, who has done well to replace veteran keeper Oswaldo Sanchez, nothing is secured in qualifying and the Tricolor cannot afford to get confident.

“We do not have anything secured, there is nothing in the bag," Ochoa said. "We are aware that we have to fight if we want to be in the World Cup because no one will give us three points. We have to fight for our lives, and the team is with the mentality that we still have no won anything. The group of players want more and to keep growing."

Ochoa replaced Sanchez in the second match of the Hexagonal and beat Costa Rica 2-0. His next game, though, did not go as well as Mexico traveled to Honduras. While the venue changes now, Ochoa should be familiar with los Catrachos.

“Honduras will maintain their style; they have demonstrated that they are organized and aggressive when they get a chance, obviously they will not be easy rivals. At Azteca we have to become strong and get the three points, we are expecting a Honduras squad that will come to speculate and see what we do in the field,” explained Ochoa.

The memory of Mexico’s 3-1 defeat to Honduras, at San Pedro Sula’s Olimpico Metropolitano stadium, remains fresh in Ochoa’s mind and the young netminder is keen in overturning the result next Wednesday.

“I believe no one was content that day after the game. We arrived (at Honduras) with the intention of achieving another result and that was not what we desired, now we have the opportunity to revert that situation, football allows for vengeance and we will have ours in a very important match, a key game, that all of the players arrive in top form and we want to continue with our win streak,” Ochoa said.

Ochoa, who regularly plays at the Azteca stadium with Club America, feels that there will be no pressure from the Mexico fans that will be there to show their full support.

“Playing at home is always positive because we are with our people, there should be no pressure playing at Azteca stadium, the people have demonstrated their support in good times and bad times. Let us remember that the match will last 90 minutes and we want to achieve the three points that will take us closer to the World Cup”.

Both Mexico and Honduras will enter the game with momentum as the two teams each pulled out a three-goal victory on Saturday. Honduras beat Trinidad 4-1 at home while Mexico beat Costa Rica 3-0 in Estadio Saprissa.

“Saturday was a joyous occasion but that is now in the past we still have to go forward and the good moment we want to have is when we have a World Cup ticket in our hand. We cannot celebrate; we still have ground to cover and three finals that we want to win,” said Ochoa of Mexico’s inspiring win over Costa Rica as the Tricolor now looks ahead to their match against Honduras.

Joel Aceves, Goal.com

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