Mexico went through three coaches in four games but stayed alive in its bid to qualify the World Cup finals when the USA rallied to beat Panama, 3-2, in
stoppage time. But it will take a fourth coach to get El Tri past New Zealand in the intercontinental playoffs as the Mexican federation has, according to media reports, fired Victor Manuel Vucetich
and replaced him with Miguel Herrera
, coach of first-place Club America, which just happens to be owned
by Televisa, the Mexican television giant that has a lot riding on Mexico's qualification for the World Cup.
Mexico organized weekly camps in Mexico City for Vucetich to prepare El Tri
for the final Hexagonal matches against Panama and Costa Rica, and he recalled such players as former captain Rafael Marquez
for the two Hexagonal matches.
Mexico went into the final games in fifth place, trailing Panama on goals scored, but overtook the Canaleros when it won at home, 2-1, on a golazo from Raul
, coached by Herrera at Club America.
But the trouble Mexico had in putting away Panama for its only win at home in the Hexagonal presaged an ugly performance against Costa
Rica in San Jose, where El Tri never looked like grabbing a second equalizer after it fell behind, 2-1, in the 64th minute.
it was a shameful way to qualifying -- needing a U.S. result to keep Mexico alive and ruin
Panama's quest for its first World Cup appearance -- but Vucetich said the playoffs in four weeks would give him time to continue to work with the team, which will play Finland Oct. 30 in San
Now that job will fall to Herrera, who made 14 appearances for Mexico as a player and earned in the nickname "El Piojo" (The Louse).
America was his fifth coaching
stint in a decade and the first club at which he won a league title. It won the 2013 Clausura and has run away with the 2013 Apertura regular-season title.