- Mexico defeated Saudi Arabia 2-1
- One goal short of knockout stage
- El Tri let Martino's contract expire
WHAT HAPPENED? Martino told reporters his tenure ended the second the final whistle blew on Wednesday. With his exit, a hire that at first inspired hope in 2019, finished in failure.
WHY WAS MARTINO LET GO? The Argentine coach had become unpopular long before the World Cup, with losses to the United States in the Nations League and Gold Cup finals in the summer of 2021 turning his spell with El Tri toxic. Mexico decided not to make a change late in the qualifying cycle, but their continued trust in Martino didn't pan out, as the team's attack looked hopeless until it was too late in Qatar.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Martino's unpopularity and his at times combative public persona led to reports that he would have left his post even if Mexico made a deep run in the tournament. All parties were ready to move on from a partnership that never worked.
STORY IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT'S NEXT FOR MEXICO? They must do a thorough analysis of what went wrong at the 2022 World Cup. That goes beyond finding a new manager; figuring out how to better develop the next generation of strikers will be a priority following a very poor tournament in that department.