Stunned Mexico Fires Coach After Embarrassing Loss at Azteca

Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre was sacked as manager of Mexico on Saturday, hours after his side's embarrassing home defeat by Honduras in a World Cup qualifier.

The 2-1 defeat on Friday night -- which marked just the second time Mexico had lost a World Cup qualifier at home -- saw El Tri slip to fourth in the six-nation North and Central America and Caribbean final qualifying group, with only the top three teams earning direct entry to the finals in Brazil next year.

The fourth-placed team will play New Zealand for a berth.

A brief statement from the Mexican Football Federation in the early hours of Saturday morning said only that president Justino Compean had taken the decision to make a change.

Luis Fernando Tena, an experienced assistant to De la Torre, will take over.

Tena comes in as Mexico face a critical match against the United States in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday.

The USA will be keen to get back on track after falling 3-1 in Costa Rica on Friday to slip to second in the group behind the Ticos.

Calls of "Chepo Out" had echoed through the Azteca Friday night, but De la Torre had insisted immediately after the match he wouldn't resign.

"Quitting now would be a failure," he said.


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