Chepo refusing to get carried away over Panama semifinal

Mexico suffered a surprising 2-1 loss against Panama to begin the Gold Cup, but will have its chance at revenge in Dallas on Wednesday night.
Mexican coach Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre isn’t one for making wild statements and ahead of tonight’s Gold Cup semifinal against Panama, it was again a case of getting down to business rather than setting the world to rights.

The 45-year-old Guadalajara native said his squad has been working hard on finishing in preparation for Los Canaleros, aware that El Tri squandered a multitude of chances in its quarterfinal against Trinidad and Tobago.

“We worked during the week on being more clinical,” Chepo said in Tuesday’s press conference.

Despite the failures of the forward line – partly due to the excellence of Trinidad ‘keeper Jan Williama - De la Torre has been impressed with his team’s ability to “open up the field, attack down the middle with one-twos and shoot from long range.”

Chepo is hoping the steady improvement that Mexico has shown since its opening game loss against Panama will stand El Tri in good stead to make Sunday’s final in Chicago.

“The tournament started slowly, we tried to grow and achieve good results,” he said, adding, “We’d like to have more convincing results, but we need to have patience.”

The Mexico coach again stressed that winning the Gold Cup is one of the main goals for El Tri this year, but that reaching the World Cup is the overriding aim.