Blanco quits Mexico after win over Canada

September 11, 2008

MEXICO CITY, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Mexico striker Cuauhtemoc Blanco announced his international retirement on Wednesday after his team beat Canada 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier to keep up their 100 percent record in the CONCACAF zone.

Second-half goals from Omar Bravo and Rafael Marquez gave Mexico the points in Tuxtla Gutierrez while Ali Gerba replied for Canada, who have taken one point from three games in third stage Group Two.

The gifted but volatile Blanco came on for the last two minutes and found time to get booked for diving in the penalty area before making the announcement to the Televisa network after the final whistle.

"I've decided, I think my spell with the national team has finished," he said.

The 35-year-old, however, said he would like to play one more match at the Azteca stadium.

Blanco played at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, where he made his name by hopping past opponents clutching the ball between his ankles. He missed out on 2006 after falling out with coach Ricardo La Volpe.

Bravo headed Mexico ahead just before the hour following a cross from the right from Ricardo Osorio and Marquez increased their lead with another header in the 73rd minute.

Gerba headed Canada's reply after Oswaldo Sanchez misjudged Iain Hume's cross.

Mexico top the group with a maximum nine points, all from home games. Sven-Goran Eriksson's team also won both legs of a preliminary round tie against Belize.