Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre's seat is hotter than ever after Mexico opened up their 2013 Gold Cup campaign with a 2-1 loss to Panama. Gabriel Torres scored twice to sink El Tri and send them to the bottom of Group A with Canada, while Panama and Martinique top the group with three points after the first matchday.
Chepo came into the match under fire after a dreadful start to World Cup qualifying and a poor Confederations Cup. Despite the wishes of the Mexican masses that he be fired for those struggles, Mexico retained Chepo and stated they had no intention to fire him, but after another loss -- even if it is an off-year Gold Cup with minimal importance -- the federation will find it ever tougher to keep the man that has the team plummeting in every competition it enters this year.
Mexico struggled in the opening minutes of the match, but it took until the seventh minute before Panama put a real scare in them. When the Canaleros finally did, they made it count as Raul Jimenez plowed over Alberto Quintero to give Panama a penalty and Torres buried the spot kick.
The goal didn't wake Mexico up either. In fact, they were at their worst in the minutes after Panama went in front. The Canaleros pressured them into bad passes and challenged Jonathan Orozco on several occasions. Panama even hit the post once and, frankly, should have been at least 2-0 up if not 3-0.
But Panama wasted their chances and Mexico made them pay right before the break. Raul Enriquez hit a gorgeous chip over the top for Marco Fabian, who calmly slotted the ball home with his first touch from eight yards to pull Mexico undeservedly level.
The second half would ensure the scoreboard reflected the balance of play thanks to who else, but Torres. He added his second of the match when he sprinted into the box unharmed and got onto a cross from in close to goal for a simple finish to restore Panama's lead.
Mexico did their best to answer in the late stages, but they never turned possession into chances. Jaime Penedo wasn't called on to make any outstanding saves and was also comfortable in goal and Panama turned Mexico away with ease.
Eventually, the final whistle went and Mexico found themselves at the bottom of the table with their fans hurling debris onto the field and chanting "Fuera Chepo." If the rest of the tournament goes like Sunday's match did, those fans just might get their wish.