Mexico part company with coach Chepo
Mexico fired manager Jose Manuel "Chepo" De la Torre early Saturday morning, about three hours after an embarrassing home loss to Honduras in World Cup qualifying.
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Luis Fernando Tena, one of de la Torre's top assistants, will take up the post on an interim basis. Tena has won the Mexican league twice and is held in high regard for guiding Mexico to the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
Mexico lost 2-1 to Honduras on Friday, only its second ever loss in World Cup qualifying matches at Estadio Azteca, and the first since 2001.
The Mexican federation wasted little time after the match firing De la Torre. Officials announced the news at about 3 a.m. ET on Saturday.
“In a dialogue with Chepo, I asked for his support to name Tena the technical director of the team," federation president Justino Compeán said Saturday.
Compeán said Chepo was given a lot of support, but the game results mattered the most. Mexico have not won a match at Estadio Azteca in 2013, crashed out of the Confederations Cup in the group stage and failed to make the final at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
"Since the beginning, this program was formed with Chepo, Tena, (and assistants Salvador "Chava" Reyes and Eduardo "Yayo" de la Torre). All highly professionals, but unfortunately the game results didn’t reflect the effort behind the program."
Chava and Yayo will stay with the team under Tena.
"I supported Chepo’s continuity [with the team] and we obviously failed ... I failed," Compeán said.
The defeat to Honduras leaves Mexico fourth in the six-team CONCACAF group, six points behind leaders Costa Rica, who beat the U.S. 3-1 on Friday. Only the top three qualify for the finals in Brazil next year, while the fourth will go into a playoff series against Oceania winner New Zealand.
Mexico are next in action Tuesday when they travel to Columbus, Ohio, to take on Jurgen Klinsmann's U.S. team.
Mexico have not missed a World Cup since 1990.