FOOTBALL NEWS

11/09/2013 09:44, Report by James Tuck

Despair for Chicharito

Javier Hernandez’s Mexico suffered a second defeat in five days to leave their chances of qualifying for next summer’s World Cup finals in jeopardy.

El Tri lost 2-0 to the USA in Columbus, where Chicharito played the full 90 minutes but could not add to his 35 goals at international level.

The USA, for whom Chris Woods works as a goalkeeping coach, have now qualified for Brazil 2014 from the North, Central American and Caribbean group, along with Costa Rica.

Mexico, who sacked their coach Jose Manuel De La Torre after the defeat to Honduras at the weekend, have dropped to fifth in the table, three points behind Honduras in the third automatic qualification place and behind fourth-placed Panama on goal difference.

Chicharito’s team have only scored four goals in their eight qualifiers but, with two games to play next month (at home to Panama and away to Costa Rica), can still avoid missing out on the finals for the first time since 1990. Should they finish fourth, they’ll face New Zealand in an inter-continental play-off to reach Brazil.

Nani played the full 90 minutes in Portugal's 3-1 friendly defeat to Brazil in the USA, while Angelo Henriquez was an unused substitute in Chile's 2-2 draw with Spain in Geneva.

And after France turned around a 1-0 half-time deficit to beat Belarus 4-2, Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery revealed Les Bleus were inspired by a pep talk from Patrice Evra, who was an unused substitute.

"The match was a little weird, especially after the first half," Ribery said. "But then Pat gave a real speech at half-time and that was good for everyone."

MoreInternationals: Robin's Dutch double | Chicharito blow

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