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Rafa Marquez: 'I hang my head in shame'
by Paul Kennedy, October 16th, 2013 5:19AM

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TAGS:  honduras, mexico, world cup 2014

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[HEXAGONAL: Matchday 10] Mexico won only two games, scored only seven goals and finished with only 11 points -- all all-time lows for a team in the Hexagonal top four -- but El Tri is still alive. Thanks to Graham Zusi and Aron Johannsson.

Veteran Rafael Marquez said Mexico reached a new low with its 2-1 loss at Costa Rica, but it is still alive thanks to the USA's 3-2 win at Panama on stoppage-time goals by Zusi and Johannsson.

Almost an afterthought on a night of incredible drama across the Hexagonal: Honduras returned to the World Cup when it clinched third place with a 2-2 tie at Jamaica.

For eight minutes, Mexico was looking at missing out on the World Cup finals by its own doing for the first time since 1982 -- it was barred from taking part in the 1990 World Cup because of a scandal involving its under-20 national team -- after Luis Tejada, who plays in Mexico for Veracruz, scored to put Panama ahead, 2-1, in the 84th minute.

In San Jose, Bryan Ruiz put Costa Rica ahead in the 25th minute, Oribe Peralta equalized for Mexico four minutes later, but Real Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio put the Ticos ahead again in the 64th minute.

As the clock ran down simultaneously in San Jose and Panama City, the Tico crowd at the Estadio Nacional went wild with the prospect of a historic win over Mexico, and El Tri showed little sign of finding a tying goal that would sent it through to the two-leg intercontinental playoffs against New Zealand Nov. 14 and 20 no matter the result in Panama City.

Mexico star Javier Hernandez, who came off injured in the second half, slumped in his seat on the substitute's bench -- as it turned out, the yellow card that he picked up will keep him out of the first leg against New Zealand -- and Victor Manuel Vucetich, coaching Mexico for just the second game, inched closer and closer to the field as the games in San Jose and Panama City wound down.

Then came the news that Zusi had tied the game in Panama City and Vucetich stepped away from the field. He could relax. At least for now.

That Mexico has struggled in both games under Vucetich -- El Tri's third coach of the Hexagonal -- didn't seem matter.

"The idea is to qualify," said Vucetich, who added the playoffs, or the Repechaje as they call it in Mexico, will give him more time to work with his players.

But from Marquez's point of view, that means lots of work.

"We've hit rock bottom," he said after the game.

He couldn't even thank the USA for bailing El Tri out.

"I hang my head in shame," he said, "and it’s embarrassing for us to qualify like that."

HONDURAN HOLIDAY. Honduras President Porfirio Lopez declared a national holiday after the Catrachos returned to the World Cup finals for the second straight time on the final day of the Hexagonal.

Four years ago, Honduras clinched when Jonathan Bornstein's goal in stoppage time earned the USA a 2-2 tie with Costa Rica and doomed the Ticos to the intercontinental playoffs, which they lost to Uruguay.

On Tuesday night, Honduras, which suited up eight current or former MLS players, only needed to tie Jamaica or have Mexico not beat Costa Rica to clinch.

The Catrachos got a goal in the first minute from former Houston Dynamo striker Carlo Costly and a goal from Maynor Figueroa in the second half and coasted to a 2-2 tie after giving up an own goal and a penalty kick to Rodolph Austin.

Hexagonal Final Standings:
PTS TEAM W-T-L +/-
22 USA 7-1-2 15/8
18 Costa Rica 5-3-2 13/7
15 Honduras 4-2-4 13/12
11 Mexico 2-5-3 7/9
8 Panama 1-5-4 10/14
5 Jamaica 0-5-5 5/13

Hexagonal Results:
Oct. 15
Panama 2 USA 3
Jamaica 2 Honduras 2
Costa Rica 2 Mexico 2

Hexagonal Leading Scorers:
4 Jozy Altidore, USA
4 Jerry Bengtson, Honduras
4 Carlo Costly, Honduras
3 Clint Dempsey, USA
3 Oribe Peralta, Mexico
3 Bryan Ruiz, Costa Rica


17 comments
  1. Emiliano Zapata
    commented on: October 16, 2013 at 10:16 a.m.
    Why would he thank USA?? So now he's got to worry about thanking USA instead of reacting to the loss of his own team ?? It's called being a competitior. Congrats to the USA, Honduras and to the best team in Concacaf rigfht now - Costa Rica !! All 3 of these teams showed something that the Mexican players did not, the fighting attitude that wins you games. These guys think that on talent alone they will get by. Talent is the determining factor in being the best but it cant be done without a fighting atittude.

  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: October 16, 2013 at 6:01 p.m.
    I don't mind your take about the writing of the article, and the loaded statement about Marquez not thanking the U.S., but you really need to sober-up regarding the best team in CONCACAF.......! Let me recap for you: USA record in the HEX 7 Wins, 2 Losses, 1 Draw - Costa Rica 5-2-3, Away records: USA 2-2-1, CR 0-2-3 - Goals scored: USA 15 with 7 away goals, CR 13 with 3 away - USA shut-out once at Azteca in a draw, CR shut-out 3 times losing two of those - Final four games of qualifying records, USA 3-1 & CR 2-1-1 while being shut-out once. The only thing CR did better was score more home goals, and a goal up head to head.......so you see, as much as you try to hide a certain feeling towards the USA team, only an idiot would call Costa Rica the "best team in Concacaf right now"! The numbers speak for themselves.......well, that's only if 22 points to 18 wasn't a good enough clue!

  1. Jamie Haynes
    commented on: October 16, 2013 at 8:02 p.m.
    Rafa should be hanging his head in shame for stomping on a man when he was down and for not marking Saborio he was brought in for leadership but he is no Patron more like Mamon.

  1. Emiliano Zapata
    commented on: October 16, 2013 at 10:03 p.m.
    Good argument Chris but didnt Costa Rica walk all over USA in Costa Rica?? The USa home game vs them deserved no better than a tie. From watching them play for a few games now I dont believe USA would have won that game in decent weather. You know, withoput 4 incces of snow. Take those 3 lucky points away and give them to Costa Rica and there is no argument. Give them a tie for that one and they are one point away. Either way costa Rica is playing better soccer right now.

  1. David Huff
    commented on: October 16, 2013 at 10:54 p.m.
    "Imposter" Zapata, you are a sore loser, US handily took the Hexagonal and your team came in a distant 2nd. I say to you "scoreboard" at the end of the day the Ticos didn't get it done in the Hex.

  1. Emiliano Zapata
    commented on: October 16, 2013 at 11 p.m.
    David, Not really. Costa Rica is not my team but I can appreciate a good team when I see it. I pulled for USA too but Costa Rica was better. Close though. As much as I root for USA I thought that "snow" game was crap and cheap for a country like ours. Had that crap game not gifted us 3 points then what would we be talking about now??

  1. Emiliano Zapata
    commented on: October 16, 2013 at 11:01 p.m.
    Take both games and Costa Rica was better amongst the 2. Gop by points and sure USA did better. You gpo by points I will go with head to head. Reality.

  1. David Huff
    commented on: October 16, 2013 at 11:19 p.m.
    Points reflect games won or tied, now that's "reality" :-)

  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: October 16, 2013 at 11:35 p.m.
    Fine EZ, have it your way......Final 2013 head to head.....USA 2 CR 1 with zero goal differential. So by your argument, those lovely conditions down in CR and with the Gold Cup game, shouldn't CR have won two of the games?????? Dude, know when your beat.... and lastly, anyone who actually was in Denver, like myself, saw first hand that there was nothing in those elements that precluded a fair match from being played. Could Costa Rica keep it from raining and the field becoming saturated during their rainy season? Doubtful. The Rules of the Game, don't address weather, but referees are empowered to protect the players safety only, or to determine that the conditions don't allow the game to progress. (ie-the ball doesn't move) Get over it.

  1. Emiliano Zapata
    commented on: October 17, 2013 at 12:49 p.m.
    Difference is Chris, that Costa Rica has no other climate to play in. No choice. USA does and should play in the best weather this great country has to offer. Even the Superbowl is played usually in the warmest weather possible. Oh ok, you saw it first hand, then it must be true!! So if the rules state that then lets play all of our games in Alaska!! We have 100% success rate in the snow !! Afterall we cant control the weather in Alaska!!

  1. Emiliano Zapata
    commented on: October 17, 2013 at 12:53 p.m.
    Chris, don't you think that one of the reasons Brazil is the best in the world is because they play year round in great weather?? How about kids that play in California?? Dont they have a huge advantage over most other states because they get to play most of the year outside?? Hmmm, lets see, in what weather is soccer play more attractive and fun to watch??

  1. David Huff
    commented on: October 17, 2013 at 3:21 p.m.
    I like the pseudo-Mexican revolutionary's suggestion, all USMNT qualifiers should be played in Alaska, preferably on the North Slope in January :-) Viva Estadio Point Barrow!

  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: October 17, 2013 at 4:08 p.m.
    So if that is your new argument, why doesn't mexico build a new stadium where it's environmental climate doesn't consist of the planet's most notoriously filthy urban air, and doesn't sit at an extreme elevation (for mexico, anyway)?? By your argument, azteca norte should be in Monterrey, or even Chihuahua shouldn't it?? Even TJ would present mexico players a better weather climate for their superior skills than mexico city. Why not there? (roll the excuse machine, now...) As for Costa Rica, your argument was about not playing the game in Denver because of the conditions, not because of the location. Newflash for you, March 22nd is Spring, they were picking from three COMPETING locations that could provide some measure of altitude addaptiveness before mexico city, not to mention they would sell it out quickly and know that 95% in attendance have no conflict about who they would be supporting from the stands. So with your mentally challenged state, tell me then, why didn't CR postpone their home games everytime they have torrential rains?? Last time I checked Flamingo on the West coast or even inland to Santa Cruz has much less chance of rain then San Jose. Why not play the games there?? (roll the excuse machine, now...) As usual, blurb blurb blurb, gulp, you're sinking fast........And save the "great country" stuff; everyone reads right through that bull from you. BTW, oh my God, the Superbowl will be outside in cold weather in '14....quick grap your extra serapes its gonna' be a cold one, and there might be some precipitation!! Someone might even slip on the field!! Oh, the travesty.......

  1. The Mexican
    commented on: October 18, 2013 at 8:14 a.m.
    Sapien, you are an extremely stupid man. So 2 wrongs make a right?? Good one. So your argument is, well if Mexico does it then so should we ?? Mr. Zapata was referring to conditions with higher probability in certain locations you moron. Since Costa Rica is so small it is impossible to play in a different location where the weather or field conditions will be any different. In USA you can pick Florida, Arizona or California for example over Denver to secure optimal playing conditions and certinly not run into any chance of snow. The Superbowl in fact is played in the best weather possible that time of the year most of the time and thats a Winter Sport!! Once in a while they play in Michigan or Indiana. You would think that soccer would call for better playing venues than Football. Are you really that stupid??

  1. The Mexican
    commented on: October 18, 2013 at 8:30 a.m.
    Mr Zapata, keep posting your comments. i find them quite interesting. I dont think these guys understand that America is a continent and that part of it is well represented here as well. They are scared.

  1. The Mexican
    commented on: October 18, 2013 at 10:03 a.m.
    Whats a biiger and dumber excuse is playing in Denver to "prepare" for Mexico game in Mexico City. Why would you use an important Concacaf qualifier vs Costa rica to prepare vs Mexico?? Thats lame and untrue. Usa played that game in Denver because it is one of the few places that USA support is overwhelming and because there was a good chance that weather would be favorable to USA style of play at the time. Thats the truth!! Check yourself before you reck yourself!!

  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: October 18, 2013 at 4:32 p.m.
    I know this is pointless.....but read on. Research is a wonderful thing. http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/us-vs-costa-rica-soccer-match/17482268, http://costa-rica-guide.com/Weather/SunshineTemperatureMap.html,http://www.denverpost.com/ci_22378545/u-s-soccer-play-world-cup-qualifier-colorado


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