Skip to comments.U.S. Ends Panama’s World Cup Run and Saves Mexico
Posted on 10/16/2013 12:57:53 AM PDT by Berlin_Freeper
It was the perfect end to a bizarre day of World Cup qualifying: the United States saved Mexico.
The longtime rivals rarely do anything to help the other out, but on Tuesday there was no mistaking what took place. Mexico, which has struggled throughout the Concacaf qualifying tournament, was just minutes away from losing to Costa Rica, 2-1, and failing to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1982. El Tris only hope was that the United States, which was losing to Panama at the time, would somehow rally for at least a tie.
The United States did even better, scoring two late goals to beat Panama, 3-2. The result knocked the Panamanians out and gave Mexico an unexpected and some might say undeserved reprieve. Mexico, which has won just 2 of its 10 qualifiers and is on its third coach of the cycle, will now face New Zealand in a two-game playoff for a place at the World Cup next summer in Brazil. The United States clinched its place last month after beating Mexico in Columbus, Ohio.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
US hasn’t bailed out Mexico this much since NAFTA passed...wonder if now we can deport all their illegal aliens without any hassle...
"Gol Estados Unidos!"
Twitter immediately erupted with calls for Mexican restaurants in the US to offer free shots of tequila, while the announcers on Mexican television went absolutely ballistic, thanking the USA and God for preserving El Tri's World Cup chances.
When you enter your final game with a record of 1-3-5, you can’t really gripe too much when the 2nd and 3rd stringers beat you with 2 goals in the last 2 minutes of the game to kill your chances at your first-ever World Cup stage. Mexico is also fully aware that they don’t deserve to be there, going 2-3-5 and winning only 2 of their last 16 matches.
Go New Zealand!
Sometimes the punch lines simply write themselves.
See, here's the problem... there is more at play here than just simple wins and losses and cross-border rivalry. From a pure rivalry standpoint, the US could have just let Panama keep their 2-1 win, playing passively since the US not only qualified already, but clinched the group win. That would have allowed Panama to snatch the playoff spot away from Mexico and heap loads of embarrassment on our key regional rival.
But there were a couple of extra factors in play as well. First off, for the good of CONCACAF, you want to make sure you have the best chance of winning past this stage, because past performance goes into determining future World Cup berths. Mexico should get past New Zealand, because it's damn near impossible for opponents to score in Mexico City, so even draw-draw in the two-leg playoff would at least give Mexico a 50% chance on PKs. Panama... well... clearly isn't a dominant home side.
Secondly, the US had an outside chance of making the top 8 in FIFA world rankings, which would give them a seeded spot for Brazil. A loss to Panama would have ruined that (slim) possibility. Again, whomever plays New Zealand (Mexico now) might affect that ranking as well, if I understand the formulas correctly.
Well, I think it’s ridiculous that England literally has to win every single game in qualifying to get a spot in Brazil, while Mexico can win 2 out of 10 games in the weakest confederation on the planet and still get in.
In a fair world, CONCACAF would get 1 spot in the World Cup, that’s it!
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