Road to Qatar: Honduras coach faces sack vs El Tri

The previous El Tri -Honduras contest tool place this summer at the Gold Cup and Orbelín Pineda and Mexico were victorious, 3-0. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
The previous El Tri -Honduras contest tool place this summer at the Gold Cup and Orbelín Pineda and Mexico were victorious, 3-0. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /
El Tri Honduras coach
Midfield linchpin Edson Álvarez figures to be busy when El Tri takes on Honduras Sunday night. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

Round 5 of the Concacaf World Cup qualifying tournament kicks off this evening in Panama (vs group leader Team USA) and Jamaica (hosting Canada, fresh off stealing a road point from Mexico).

El Salvador at Costa Rica commences 5 minutes later with the Ticos desperate for their first win. It’s still early, but the Ticos are at risk of missing out on a World Cup for the first time since 2010.

Mexico is tied with the Americans atop the table (8 points), followed by Canada (6), Panama and El Salvador with 5, Costa Rica and Honduras with 3 and Jamaica at the bottom (3).

El Tri welcomes Honduras to Estadio Azteca in the nightcap in what is essentially a must-win game for both teams. The visitors will be trying to replicate their shocking 2-1 victory in “El Coloso de Santa Úrsula” back in 2013, the last time Mexico lost a World Cup qualifier in the Azteca.

El Tri match could be manager’s swan song

Coach Fabián Coito is on the hot seat as “Los Catrachos” are winless through four rounds, just 1 point better than their next opponent, last-place Jamaica. In fact, the Reggae Boyz are Honduras’ next opponent and,

If Coito survives tonight’s result at the Azteca, the match against the Reggae Boys could be his last game in charge. If history is any indication, El Tri will negatively impact Coito’s job security.

Mexico is 23-9-7 all-time against Honduras (71 goals for, 28 goals against); El Tri is 11-3-6 against the Central Americans in World Cup qualifiers (36 goals for, 20 goals against).

The last time these two teams played at Estadio Azteca in a World Cup qualifier was back on June 18, 2017. El Tri strolled to a 3-0 victory with goals from Oswaldo Alanis, “Chucky” Lozano and Raúl Jiménez.

The October FIFA break concludes with four more games on Wednesday. With 6 points at stake for each team, we’re bound to see some shuffling in the table. The Road to Qatar tournament resumes in mid-November with two rounds, including the much-anticipated Mexico-USA clash in Cincinnati on Nov. 12.

Liga MX News

Xolos’ new pack leader

Last-place Tijuana hired Sebastiá Méndez to replace Robert Siboldi, fired on Sept. 29 after a disastrous 3-0 loss at Necaxa. Méndez, a 44-year-old Argentine, became familiar with soccer in Mexico while serving as Diego Maradona’s assistant at Dorados de Sinaloa in Liga de Ascenso MX. The Xolos are a pitiful 1-4-7 with just 9 goals scored (and 21 allowed).

Overheard in front-office corridors

Whispers coming out of Guadalajara suggest Chivas players are already unhappy with interim manager Marcelo Michel Leaño. Some wagging tongues have the locker room missing the aloof (but effective) Víctor Manuel Vucetich.

Next. El Tri must shake off doldrums vs Honduras. dark

The primary cause for the unrest is Michel’s inability to make in-game tactical adjustments. Misuse of his admittedly limited roster has led the callow coach to a disappointing 0-1-2 record since taking over for “King Midas” on Sept. 21. His worst sin is that “El Rebaño Sagrado” has yet to score under his leadership.