After his team's World Cup elimination in Qatar, Mexico manager Gerardo 'Tata' Martino has revealed he will step down from his position.
El Tri's must-win match against Saudi Arabia on Wednesday marked the thrilling finish of Group C action. Goals from Henry Martin and Luis Chavez put Mexico within striking distance of the knockout rounds of the competition.
Mexico and Poland were even on points, goals for, and goals against heading into the closing minutes, with Argentina leading and moving on as the group winner. Mexico would have advanced because of their stronger Fair Play record and having received fewer yellow cards.
After Saudi Arabia's Salem Al-Dawsari scored a late consolation goal in stoppage time, Mexico was ultimately eliminated based on goal difference.
Prior to kickoff, reports suggested that former Barcelona manager Martino would resign if his team failed to advance to the knockout stages.
After the 2-1 victory, the Former Barcelona manager Martino, who has been in charge of Mexico since January 2019, told Fox Soccer during the post-game interview, confirming that he will indeed stand down: "My contract finished as soon as the referee blew the whistle”. "I am the man responsible for the frustration and disappointment”.
"It is quite awful, and I take full responsibility for this catastrophic failure”.
Mexico put on a spirited display against Saudi Arabia, but it was a little too late after a goalless draw in their opening game against Poland and a 2-0 loss to Argentina on Saturday.
After Poland's 2-0 loss to Argentina on Wednesday evening, Mexico had a chance to overtake Poland and retake the second position.
But El Tri were conscious that they needed to increase the two-goal lead Henry Martin and Luis Chavez had given them over Saudi Arabia since, in all tiebreakers, Poland held the advantage over Mexico because they had received fewer yellow cards.
Poland advanced on the strength of goal differential after Mexico had two goals disallowed for offside in the second half before Salem Al Dawsari's stoppage-time goal for Saudi Arabia.
Martino added, "We outplayed the opposition, generated more opportunities, and could have scored as many goals as necessary”.
"For that reason, we went for the third goal and combined two center-forwards. It was crucial because we were getting knocked out and we knew Poland had fewer yellows”.
“But we failed and I don’t think we were knocked out in the previous matches, but rather today”.
“I think we should analyze this more thoroughly when we have a clear mind. This is the reality. We are in a position of fragility because we are out of the World Cup”.