Mexico face the only nation to have ever inflicted a home World Cup qualifying defeat on them in Tuesday’s clash with Costa Rica knowing that a repeat result would throw their Hexagonal campaign into real jeopardy and coach Jose Manuel de la Torre would quite possibly find himself out of a job.
There is no hiding the fact that Mexico have been a major disappointment in the final round of Concacaf World Cup qualifying so far, having scored just three goals in five matches. A record of just one victory and four draws from means that three points is all-important at the Azteca. And despite their lack of attacking prowess in 2013, De la Torre is not concerned how the result comes.
“When you achieve objectives, the way you do it is forgotten,” he said, according to Goal.com. “I prefer to win than say I played marvelously and lost. The important thing is the result. At home, we have to make our advantage count. For me a win is necessary to get the points to be in a good position in the table.”
That would suggest that the under pressure coach is unlikely to make the changes to his lineup that could facilitate the side being injected with a greater attacking threat. That is likely to mean Gerardo Torrado and Jesus Zavala staying ahead of the more attack-minded Hector Herrera in central midfield and Giovani dos Santos again playing behind Javier Hernandez rather than switching to the right and bringing in another striker. Despite being taken off with cramp against Panama last time out the Manchester United striker is fit for Tuesday’s encounter.
Mexico will also have to be wary of Costa Rica’s attacking talent, which features the inventive Fulham man Bryan Ruiz as well as Joel Campbell, who spent last season on loan at Real Betis from Arsenal. But Ticos coach Jorge Luis Pinto will be unable to call on midfielder Ariel Rodriguez through suspension, while Christopher Meneses is an injury doubt.
D: Meza, Rodriguez, Moreno, Salcido
M: Torrado, Zavala
Aquino, Dos Santos, Guardado
Costa Rica (probable)
D: Gonzalez, Gamboa, Meneses, Miller
Bolanos, Ruiz, Campbell
Where to watch: The FIFA World Cup qualifier will kick-off at 8 p.m. Coverage will be provided by ESPN and Unimas, with a live stream available on ESPN3.