2014 World Cup Qualifying: The Pressure is on Mexico's Chepo and Company

By Phil Naegely
Mexico handidly beat Ivory Coast
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

With 2014 World Cup Qualifying continuing Friday and through most of September, Mexico and head coach Jose Manuel de la Torre, better known as Chepo, face a big qualifying week. Mexico hosts Honduras on Friday before traveling to Columbus for Tuesday’s match against the United States. If Mexico wants to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, they need to catch up in the CONCACAF hex standings and get six points in the next few days.

Mexico has won 27 straight straight qualifying matches at Azteca and they will need to win their 28th straight qualifying game. Currently, Mexico sits in third-place with eight points, but has only gone 1-0-5 in six matches. Honduras and Panama sit in fourth-place with seven points and fifth-place with six points respectively.
The top three teams automatically qualify for the 2014 World Cup with the fourth-place team taking on New Zealand in a playoff with the winner advancing to the World Cup.

If Mexico wins at home Friday night and can get a tie against the United States, then they will be in good qualifying shape. On the flip side, if Mexico can’t pick up a win in either of their games in the next week, then Chepo will be chopped and Mexico’s qualifying chances will falter.

It’s “go big or go home” for Mexico this week. Their next two World Cup Qualifying games will dictate their future. After their next two games, they could have a new coach and no hope of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, or they could have momentum as September qualifying continues on. The pressure is on Mexico, and it is time for them to step up because they haven’t stepped up so far in the 2014 World Cup qualifying.

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