De la Torre out as Mexico manager
Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre is out as manager of the Mexican national team following Mexico's disappointing World Cup qualifying loss to Honduras on Friday night.
The Mexican Football Federation announced the move through an official statement on Saturday and have replaced de la Torre with Luis Fernando Tena on an interim basis:
José Manuel de la Torre deja la Dirección de la Selección Nacional. http://t.co/YKOSGZxZe6— FEMEXFUT (@FEMEXFUTOFICIAL) September 7, 2013
Mexico suffered a tremendous blow at home with a 2-1 loss to Honduras, dropping El Tri into fourth in the six-team CONCACAF group and outside the top three which qualify automatically for Brazil 2014. The fourth-placed team will go into a playoff against Oceania champion New Zealand.
Mexico took the lead in the fifth minute at the Estadio Azteca as Oribe Peralta netted a chance set up by Villarreal forward Giovani dos Santos.
However Honduras silenced the home fans with two goals in three minutes in the early stages of the second half.
Jerry Bengtson of New England Revolution equalized in the 63rd minute before defender Emilio Izaguirre teed up an opportunity for experienced striker Carlo Costly, who scored the go-ahead goal in the 66th. Honduras held on for a win that moved them above Mexico and into third place.
The next round of matches is on Tuesday, with the United States hosting Mexico in the key game while Honduras is at home against Panama and Costa Rica is away to Jamaica.
Tena, who was one of De la Torre's top assistants, has won the Mexican league twice and guided Mexico to the gold medal at the London Olympics, one of the biggest sports achievements in Mexico's history. It was Mexico's first Olympic medal in team sports since a bronze in basketball in 1936.
Tena was to be introduced late Saturday at Centro de Alto Rendimiento.
Mexico is fourth in the six-team CONCACAF final qualifying group. 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 has not missed a World Cup since 1990.
El Tri will hold a press conference to announce the move on Saturday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.