Mexico 'bitter and annoyed' following draw

Posted by Rafael Ramos Villagrana

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras -- The ravages from the draw against Honduras took hold of Mexican coach Jose Manuel Chepo de la Torre.

It is Mexico's worst start ever in World Cup qualifying. Two out of six possible points. Four less than the most optimistic forecasts. Two less than the most pessimistic forecasts.

Surly, shy, insolent, Chepo once again sided with conflict before the thirty-odd journalists at the press conference held inside the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano.
First he said, "We leave with a bitter feeling because of the result. It leaves us bitter because we were winning 2-0." Later on, faced with another question, he fell into contradictions: "I am not bitter, I am annoyed, that's it."

Besides, de la Torre indicated that his group of players was irritated in the locker room, and so it should be, to the point that the coach himself banned all his players from making comments post-game and none of them stopped in the mixed zone.

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"They are upset. Because of how the advantage was lost, because the draw occurs amid circumstances that are out of our control and should not have come about," he explains.

De la Torre doesn't dare speak outright about the refereeing. He doesn't refer to specifics, just throws out clues, according to him, by stating: "A word to the wise is sufficient."

"I haven't said that the refereeing (Courtney Campbell from Jamaica) was localist or biased. I only said that some things that happened (the penalty for Honduras and a foul on Giovani dos Santos in goal-scoring position) influenced the scoreboard and left us unsatisfied," he explained.

After elusive answers to direct and concise questions, de la Torre admitted that what lies ahead are days of intense work with the players before the game against the United States next Tuesday at Estadio Azteca.

"All aspects of the game must be worked on. We have to talk with them, talk about different things and different topics that require attention," he said.

He explained that the substitution of Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez was due to a cramp he suffered, while Giovani dos Santos felt discomfort in his ankle. However, de la Torre believes he will be able to count on both players for the U.S. duel.

What was surprising was his reaction to the direct question about how the team would be affected by the inevitable suspension of Francisco Javier "Maza" Rodriguez due to his second yellow card.

"Why would Maza not be able to face the United States? Oh, the cards? Well, no, it's not that I didn't know. It's just that I have to look it over, ok? Yes, I was aware, ok? But I want to be sure before commenting," he said.

Incidentally, the Honduras Football Federation stated that Justino Compean, president of its Mexican counterpart, was not present at the stadium in San Pedro Sula to watch the game, although nobody could specify whether his failure to appear was due to fear of virulent reactions after he dedicated the britney-decio-maza signal to Honduran fans.

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