Skip to main content

Jose Manuel de la Torre pays price for Mexico's World Cup struggles

updated 2:43 PM EDT, Sat September 7, 2013
Jose Manuel de la Torre leaves the field after a home defeat by Honduras, his last match before being sacked as Mexico coach.
Jose Manuel de la Torre leaves the field after a home defeat by Honduras, his last match before being sacked as Mexico coach.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre sacked ahead of United States trip
  • The Mexicans struggling to qualify for 2014 World Cup after Honduras defeat
  • Americans seeking to rebound from Friday's 3-1 loss to Costa Rica in San Jose
  • Colombia moves closer to first World Cup appearance since 1998

(CNN) -- Mexico's poor form in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup has cost coach Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre his job.

The 47-year-old's assistant Luis Fernando Tena will take charge for Tuesday's crunch clash with the United States in Ohio, following Friday's 2-1 home defeat by Honduras.

The reverse, just Mexico's second in 77 qualifying matches at Estadio Azteca, left the Olympic champion in fourth place in the CONCACAF group and struggling to earn an automatic place at the showpiece tournament in Brazil next year.

Only the top three teams have direct qualification -- the fourth finisher must play Oceania winner New Zealand in a playoff.

De la Torre said after the Honduras match that he would not resign, but the Mexican football federation announced Saturday that his two-year tenure was over in a brief statement on its website.

Read: Ronaldo treble rescues Portugal

He led Mexico to victory in the 2011 Gold Cup, but the team lost in this year's semifinals and also struggled at the Confederations Cup in Brazil -- a rehearsal tournament for the main event next July.

Mexico has qualified for every World Cup since 1994, reaching the round of 16 on each of those occasions.

The Americans, meanwhile, dropped to second place after losing 3-1 against Costa Rica, despite Clint Dempsey scoring on his 100th international appearance.

The home side earned revenge for March's snow-affected 1-0 defeat in Denver, as goals from Johnny Acosta, Celso Borges and Joel Campbell put Costa Rica one-point clear at the top with three games to play.

Panama could have moved above Mexico, but only drew 0-0 with 10-man Jamaica -- with Rodolph Austin sent off in the second half.

In South American qualifying, Colombia joined Argentina on 26 points at the top after Friday's 1-0 win over fourth-placed Ecuador.

James Rodriguez scored the only goal in the first half, while Ecuador earlier had Gabriel Achilier sent off and then missed a second-half penalty by Walter Ayovi.

It guaranteed Colombia at least a playoff place, and hope of a first World Cup appearance since 1998. The top four teams go through automatically.

Chile moved up to third with a 3-0 win over Venezuela, while Luis Suarez scored both goals as Uruguay climbed to fifth with a 2-1 win away to Peru.

In Africa, Ethiopia ended South Africa's hopes by beating Central African Republic 2-1 in Congo on Saturday.

South Africa, the 2010 World Cup host, failed to make the final round of qualifying despite finishing its Group A campaign in second after a 4-1 win over Botswana.

Burkina Faso went through as Group E winner after a 1-0 win over Gabon meant second-placed Congo missed out, having drawn 2-2 away to Niger.

Nigeria won Group F after beating second-placed Malawi 2-0 at Calabar, while on Friday Ghana also qualified -- joining Algeria, Egypt and Ivory Coast in the five two-leg playoffs to be held in October and November.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:23 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
updated 8:53 AM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
updated 12:22 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
updated 6:41 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT