[HEXAGONAL: Matchday 7]
Mexico's nightmare Hexagonal campaign continued as it blew a 1-0 lead and lost to Honduras, 2-1, for only its second loss ever in World Cup
qualifying at Azteca Stadium. Mexico, which is without a win this year in four Hexagonal matches at home, would have dropped to fifth place but for Panama's inability to beat 10-man Jamaica at home.
But that didn't stop the Mexican federation from firing embattled coach Jose Manuel de la Torre
after the game.
Chepo kept his job after Mexico's
"B" team lost to Panama twice at the Gold Cup and exited in the semifinals, but there's no way he'll keep his job after Friday's Aztecazo -- El Tri's first loss at home in World Cup qualifying since a
2-1 defeat to Costa Rica in 2001. Chants of "Fuera Chepo" ("Chepo, out of here") filled the Azteca stands.
Mexico's First Division presidents, who run the Mexican federation's affairs,
met late into the night to decide whether Chepo will be on the plane when Mexico heads to Columbus for Tuesday's match against the USA.
It decided to fire de la Torre and replace him with
55-year-old Luis Fernando Tena
, who coached Mexico to the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics.
Chepo looked like a genius for starting Oribe Peralta
over star Javier Hernandez
when the hero of Mexico's win in the 2012 Olympic gold-medal game opened the scoring
in the sixth minute -- the first goal scored this year in four Hexagonal matches at Azteca Stadium.
But goals by Carlo Costly
and Jerry Bengtson
in the second half gave the Catrachos a 2-1 lead and boos and whistles filled Azteca for the remaining minutes of the game as El Tri futilely looked to
grab an equalizer.
For Bengtson, it was redemption as he had been kicked off the national team before the qualifier against the USA in June for insulting Coach Luis Suarez
Panama finished with a 15-2 edge in shots but had to settle for a 0-0 tie with Jamaica, which lost Rodolph Austin
a red card in the 58th minute. Hexagonal Results: Sept. 6
Costa Rica 3 USA 1
Panama 0 Jamaica 0
Hexagonal Standings: PTS TEAM W-T-L
14 Costa Rica 4-2-1 11/5
13 USA 4-1-2 8/6
10 Honduras 3-1-3 8/8
8 Mexico 1-5-1 4/4
7 Panama 1-4-2 5/7
3 Jamaica 0-3-4 2/8 Hexagonal Schedule: Sept. 10
Honduras-Panama Oct. 11
Honduras-Costa Rica Oct. 15