Both Miguel Herrera and Paulo Wanchope are under pressure to reach the CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals as Mexico and Costa Rica prepare for battle.
The teams meet at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on Sunday knowing that a loss will end their tournament, and perhaps their coach’s time in charge.
Mexico are nine-time champions but failed to finish top of Group C after an incredible 4-4 draw against Trinidad and Tobago.
That has increased the pressure on Herrera, whose focus was on the Gold Cup after he decided to take a weaker squad to the Copa America in June.
The expectations for Wanchope and Costa Rica is a semi-final appearance.
Speaking to La Nacion, Wanchope said his focus was on the clash against Mexico, not his future.
“I can say I’m focused on… Mexico. I cannot be thinking about what will happen if we cannot get past Mexico,” he said.
“Right now I just think you want to win against Mexico.”
Wanchope said there were still areas for his team to improve in, particular in attack, after they drew all three group matches after scoring a total of three goals.
Roy Miller, David Ramirez and Bryan Ruiz have all scored for Costa Rica during the tournament.
But while Wanchope’s men have struggled to score, Mexico have basically scored for fun.
Herrera’s side are the top scorers at the event with 10 goals, but included in that are bags of six (against Cuba) and four.
Oribe Peralta is the equal leading goalscorer with three, while Andres Guardado and Carlos Vela have both struck twice.
Despite the goals, Mexico managed just one win in the group stages – seeing them finish second to Trinidad and Tobago.
Even without the injured Javier Hernandez, expectations are high and a semi-final appearance is a must.
Fortunately for Mexico, they have an incredible record against Costa Rica – winning 27 of the 49 meetings between the nations while losing just six.
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