The Mexico vs Costa Rica Hexagonal qualifier will take place this Tuesday, October 15, 2013 (6:30 PM Pacific) at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose. Mexico came out of the Estadio Azteca with a 2-1 victory over Panama last Friday, thanks to a once in a lifetime goal by Raul Jimenez. Now, Mexico must get a draw in San Jose in order to secure the intercontinental playoff spot; a Mexican victory combined with a Honduran loss at Jamaica could result in Mexico automatically qualifying to the World Cup.
Update: Mexico vs Costa Rica Highlights.
Vucetich’s debut with Mexico was somewhat of an improvement over what we had seen when Chepo was the coach (I mean, Mexico did finally win at the Azteca after all). Nonetheless, El Tri still needs plenty of work. Although they dominated the ball for most of the match, Mexico failed to generate many clear scoring opportunities. Furthermore, a series of defensive mistakes allowed the goal that nearly cost Mexico a spot in the World Cup.
It was also worrying to see a Chicharito that is clearly struggling due to the few minutes he plays with Manchester United; the missed penalty was just salt added to an open wound. With Jimenez’ outstanding goal taken into account, I believe Vucetich will have a tough decision to make: start Chicharito or Raul Jimenez?
With the match against Costa Rica being the last round of the Hexagonal, lets go over the possible scenarios Mexico might face:
- If Mexico loses. Unless Panama defeats the United States, Mexico would still end up in 4th place and thus play against New Zealand in November.
- If Mexico ties. Mexico would clinch the 4th placed spot and would play in the intercontinental playoff. There would be zero chance of moving up to third or down to fifth.
- If Mexico wins. El Tri would need Jamaica to defeat Honduras (and make up the 2 goal differential), otherwise Mexico would end in 4th place anyways.
As you can see by the above described scenarios, the most likely result is that Mexico will play a home and away series against New Zealand in November for one of the last spots awarded to the World Cup.
Related News: Mexico vs Panama Highlights (including the awesome chilenita)
Mexico’s opponent will be an already qualified Costa Rica that has little to play for other than honor; the USMNT has already clinched first place. Costa Rica showed little desire to win when it traveled to San Pedro Sula last Friday, their match against Honduras ending in a 1-0 loss. It is likely that Costa Rica will still use all of their key players against Mexico. Nonetheless, it is more of a question of whether the Ticos will still fight with passion, knowing that this match really means nothing for them in terms of getting to the World Cup.
Mexico vs Costa Rica Prediction
The Mexico vs Costa Rica match will still be an intense game, simply because the home fans will want their already qualified team to play well against the CONCACAF’s most hated rival. I expect Vucetich will use the same 4-2-2-2 formation he used against Panama, although he might make some changes to the starting lineup.
I find it hard to believe Costa Rica will play any worse than it did last Friday, playing in front of their home fans against CONCACAF’s biggest opponent should provide enough motivation to the already qualified team. However, I think Mexico is coming in with a huge morale boost, thanks to the win over Panama. I predict that the Mexico vs Costa Rica match will end in a 2-1 victory for El Tri.
Mexico vs Costa Rica TV Schedule
The Mexico vs Costa Rica World Cup qualifier will be televised this Tuesday, October 15, 2013 on Telemundo at 6:30 PM Pacific.
Mexico vs Costa Rica Highlights
The Mexico vs Costa Rica highlights will be uploaded soon after this match ends.