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Mexico vs. Costa Rica, 2014 World Cup qualifying: Final score 0-0, and Chepo's time might be up

Is this the end for 'Chepo' Jose Manuel de la Torre? Mexico drew 0-0 at home for the third time in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday.

Bob Levey

Mexico will get on a plane to Brazil for the Confederations Cup on Tuesday night, and it's anyone's guess whether or not 'Chepo' Jose Manuel de la Torre will be on that flight. El Tri drew 0-0 with Costa Rica, and at the end of the match, the fans berated the manager and audibly cried out for his firing.

The first big chance of the game went to Costa Rica, and served as a bit of a wake-up call for El Tri in the opening stages. On a brilliant counter down the left flank, Joel Campbell beat Gerardo Flores and 'Maza' Francisco Rodriguez, then drilled a shot towards the far post. Jose Corona whiffed on his save attempt, but the ball hit the post and bounced wide instead of finding the back of the net.

Mexico took control of the game for the most part after that, but could only find half-chances. Aldo de Nigris was active, forcing saves out of Keylor Navas in the 8th and 17th minute. Mexico also created set piece chances, but couldn't do much with them. 'Chicharito' Javier Hernandez was given a yellow card just before a corner in the 31st minute for pushing Michael Umaña, though the Costa Rican defender certainly sold it.

In the 36th minute, Campbell had another brilliant chance, again on the counter. Cristian Bolaños did brilliantly to back down his defender and lay off the ball to Campbell, who had an open lane to shoot from 20 yards. He took a rip towards the far post, but Corona came up with a massive save. Five minutes later, Bryan Ruiz had a very similar chance but screamed his effort over the bar.

El Tri continued to struggle going into the break, and Chicharito squandered a chance in his frustration in the 45th minute. Mexico had a dangerous-looking four-on-two break, but instead of being patient and looking for a teammate to pass to, Hernandez took a long shot and missed wide.

Just after the halftime whistle, de Nigris almost turned the game into a carbon copy of Mexico's 1-0 win over Jamaica. He got up high and met a cross into the box with his head, but couldn't quite direct it on target. While Aldo was active, he failed to combine with Chicharito throughout the match, and he was removed for Raul Jimenez in the 54th minute.

'Chepo' Jose Manuel de la Torre continued to make changes in an attempt to spark his team to live. Javier Aquino replaced Pablo Barrera in the 64th minute, which was followed up by Giovani dos Santos coming in for Hector Herrera in a 75th minute desperation move.

The biggest event of the second half was probably Ruiz's protests just before taking a corner, thanks to some less than friendly behavior from Mexico fans. They pelted him with garbage and it took nearly three minutes for him to take the corner kick.


El Tri had a number of half-chances between then and the end of the match, but never forced Navas into a truly difficult save. This match marks the third 0-0 draw at the Azteca during this World Cup qualifying cycle for Mexico, which will be deemed absolutely unacceptable by fans and media, to say the least.

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