MEXICO CITY (Sporting Alert) — CONCACAF giants Mexico head into their 2014 World Cup qualifying play-offs game with New Zealand without their stars from Europe and a new head coach on Wednesday at the Estadio Azteca.
What: World Cup Qualifying Play-offs
When: Wednesday, November 13, at 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Azteca Stadium, Mexico City, Mexico
Teams: Mexico v New Zealand
Watch Live: ESPN, WatchESPN
Inconsistency on the pitch and in the leadership and guidance off the field, saw Mexico struggled to earn an automatic slot to Brazil after finishing out of the top three.
European players, such as Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez, Villarreal’s Giovani Dos Santos and AC Ajaccio goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, were heavily criticized for not getting the job done and were among those dropped by new coach Miguel Herrera for the first leg tie in Mexico City.
With Herrera, El Tri will be guided by their fourth coach in five qualification matches and he too came under heavy criticism for naming a squad that solely consisted of domestic league-based players.
Not many are thinking this, but defeat over the two-legged encounter would see Mexico failing to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1990.
The last time they missed out on the World Cup was when the team was banned in 1990 because of the use of a overage players in a youth tournament.
Overlook that year, and last time Mexico missed the World Cup because they failed to qualify would be in 1982.