Skip to main content

Mexico makes another coaching change ahead of vital World Cup playoff

October 18, 2013 -- Updated 2012 GMT (0412 HKT)
Mexico beat Panama in a World Cup qualifier last week but struggled throughout the qualifying campaign.
Mexico beat Panama in a World Cup qualifier last week but struggled throughout the qualifying campaign.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mexico fires manager Victor Manuel Vucetich after only two games in charge
  • Vucetich won one of his games and led Mexico to a playoff against New Zealand
  • Mexico has played in the last five World Cups and won men's gold at London 2012
  • Mexico squeaked into the playoffs after rival the U.S. rallied to beat Panama

(CNN) -- Coaching the Mexican national team is proving to be a difficult assignment.

When Mexico parted company with Victor Manuel Vucetich and replaced him with Miguel Herrera on Friday, it marked the third time in a month El Tri changed their football manager.

Vucetich didn't have much time to mold the side, as he was only brought in when interim boss Luis Fernando Tena got the boot. Tena himself inherited the position after Jose Manuel de la Torre received his marching orders earlier in September.

Vucetich won his first game 2-1 against Panama, needing a late goal to earn all three points, but lost his second 2-1 at Costa Rica.

Mexico, a proud footballing nation that has appeared in the last five World Cups, won men's Olympic gold in 2012 by topping Neymar's Brazil and captured the under-17 World Cup in 2011, only scraped into a World Cup playoff when fiercest rival the U.S. scored two goals in injury time to beat the Panamanians 3-2 on the road.

Had Panama hung on for the victory, it, not Mexico, would have faced New Zealand next month in the two-leg shootout to reach Brazil.

Vucetich, who has 25 years of coaching experience, likely didn't help his cause ahead of the game against Costa Rica when he labeled his team "arrogant."

"In our game, sometimes we exaggerate, we become arrogant," he told reporters. "I think this is the moment that we should reflect and show, above all, on the pitch that we need to win."

Vucetich revealed Thursday that he had been axed, with Mexico's football federation officially announcing the coaching shuffle Friday.

Mexico's struggles in qualifying came as the U.S. topped the group, Costa Rica finished second and Honduras claimed the third and final automatic World Cup spot.

While Mexico reached the second round in South Africa three years ago, Honduras was last in its group and Costa Rica didn't qualify for the tournament.

On paper Herrera, a former defender for the national team, should lead Mexico to Brazil since New Zealand is ranked 79th by FIFA and Mexico stands 24th but the recent disarray won't hurt the Kiwis' chances of playing at a second straight World Cup.

Herrera guided Club America to the Mexican Clausura title in May.

Vucetich not the only manager to go

Vucetich hasn't been the only manager to lose his job despite his team making the playoffs -- Croatia fired former national team defender Igor Stimac after a 2-1 loss at Scotland.

He was replaced by Niko Kovac, the former hard-nosed captain of Croatia.

Australia sacked Holger Osieck following back-to-back 6-0 defeats against Brazil and France despite the Socceroos being one of the first nations to book a spot in Brazil.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
CNN Football Club
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
Dutch football team head coach Louis van Gaal (L) and Dutch's assistant coach Patrick Kluivert (R) look on before a friendly football match between Belgium and Netherlands in Brussels on August 15, 2012.
Should the Manchester United board have insisted upon a more radical overhaul of the club's football operation when Alex Ferguson stepped down?
April 23, 2014 -- Updated 1326 GMT (2126 HKT)
Sunday Oliseh plays for NIgeria at the 1998 World Cup in France.
When Sunday Oliseh was a young boy, he never dreamed he would one day carry the hopes of 170 million people on football's biggest stage.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)
The 1989 Hillsborough stadium tragedy, which claimed 96 lives, brought the red and the blue halves of Liverpool together.
CNN's Don Riddell says the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy has caused irreparable damage to the families of the 96 victims and the survivors.
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
The Champions league trophy stands on show during the draw for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions league at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon on March 21, 2014. AFP PHOTO/FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Two European heavyweights will collide in the Champions League semifinals after Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were drawn together in Switzerland.
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
West Bromwich Albion's French striker Nicolas Anelka looks on during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich, central England, on January 1, 2014.
England prides itself on being the home of football, but is the nation dysfunctional in dealing with racist abuse?
March 18, 2014 -- Updated 1339 GMT (2139 HKT)
In a city where football is a religion, Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge is fast becoming a deity.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
"Everyone is scared about war -- they are very nervous," former Ukraine football star Oleg Luzhny says of the rising tensions with Russia.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 1807 GMT (0207 HKT)
Bayern Munich's present success rests on one key decision, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tells CNN.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
Neymar
"More than a Club." It is an image Barcelona has carefully cultivated, but could the controversial deal to sign Neymar sour that view?
February 1, 2014 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
Affectionately known as "the wise man of Hortaleza," Luis Aragones -- who died aged 75 -- left the legacy of helping Spain's ascension to the top.
ADVERTISEMENT