• World Cup 2022

Mexico manager announces exit after his ‘great failure’

© Ace Football

After three years in charge of El Tri, Gerardo Martino has stepped down from his role.

Mexico manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino has announced his departure following the national team’s World Cup group-stage exit.

On Wednesday, Mexico’s hopes of reaching the last 16 stage ended in almost brutal fashion. Going into the 90th minute of their Group C finale against Saudi Arabia, El Tri held a two-goal lead. At that stage, they were level with Poland for the second and final knockout spot, with four points, two goals, and two goals conceded to their name.

However, as Mexico were behind the Poles on fair play points, Martino’s side needed a third goal. They had eight minutes of injury time to do so, but instead conceded in the fifth minute of added time when Salem Al-Dawsari sprung a late goal for Saudi Arabia in Lusail. It settled the scoreline 2-1 in Mexico’s favor, leaving them third in Group C.

“I am the first responsible for this terrible disappointment and frustration that we have,” Martino said in a post-match press conference.

“As the person in charge, it causes a lot of sadness, I fully assume responsibility for this great failure. My contract ended as soon as the referee blew the final whistle and there is nothing more to be done.”

Wednesday’s outcome marks the first time Mexico have failed to reach the World Cup knockout phase since 1978 after qualifying for the tournament.