There was little reason to celebrate for El Tri Tuesday night, despite advancing to a playoff against New Zealand.
El Tri was given a World Cup lifeline by the United States on Tuesday as the Stars and Stripes came back late to defeat Panama 3-2, but the Mexico camp found few positives despite advancing to a playoff against New Zealand.
“There is nothing to celebrate,” said Cruz Azul’s Christian “Chaco” Gimenez inside Estadio Nacional after Mexico’s 2-1 loss to Costa Rica. “Today we have to hang our heads knowing we let down a country.”
The Argentine-Mexican added that El Tri “hit rock bottom” on Tuesday, opining that Costa Rica’s second goal by Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio caused “desperation” among the Mexico team.
Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez echoed Gimenez’s words, but stressed that all is not lost for Mexico with the team facing a playoff next month against New Zealand.
“It is the worst way of getting into the playoff, but we’re there,” said the Manchester United player. “We’ve got to look at the positive side.”
Mexico coach Victor Manuel Vucetich was poker-faced after the game, refusing to explicitly thank the United States, but praised the “ethics” and “professionalism” in the sport after a night in which both qualified teams – Costa Rica and the United States – won.
When asked if Mexico deserved to be at the World Cup, Vucetich pointed to the Hex table.
“In questions of justice, I think that the numbers speak,” he said.