Wednesday, October 16, 2013

It's about time CONCACAF made a change



There are lots of relieved people in Mexico this morning. Thanks to some late goals for the US against Panama, Mexico still have a chance to make it to Brazil next summer.

The Mexican drama has been like one of their infamous soap operas. An overhead kick with 5 mins to go to beat Panama, an unbelievable miss by Chicharito, followed by a Graham Zuzi header for the US in stoppage time to give the Mexicans a lifeline after they lost away in Costa Rica.

Mexico have always qualified when the competition was held in the Americas (1930, 50, 62, 70, 78, 86 and 94), and no doubt will have a good following if they beat New Zealand in two-leg playoff in November.

But surely it's now time that the CONCACAF region made a change in how teams qualify - or maybe FIFA need to look at taking one of the 3 automatic places away - or at least ditch the Intercontinental playoff game.

Mexico finished 4th in a group of 6, only won 2 games, scoring just 7 goals. This is undoubtedly one of the weakest Mexican teams in recent memory - they are so bad that they can't even rough teams up like they used to.

They finished behind the US, Costa Rica and Honduras - the latter two of which are highly unlikely to make it out of the group stages in Brazil. So why should Mexico get yet another chance to go? They have been very poor and don't deserve to be at the main event. The US have a decent team, but not one you would say is going to genuinely contend at the World Cup. Jurgen Klinsmann has done a very good job, and the US have completely dominated the region, but they really should - beating teams like Antigua & Barbuda, Guatemala and Jamaica should be pretty straightforward. But you can only beat the teams put in front of you.

And Mexico couldn't.

New Zealand won 6 of 6 in their region, but they should too - Tahiti and New Caledonia aren't much of a test either.

Maybe FIFA needs to revamp the qualifying process as it seems like they want some of the same teams there at every World Cup. With the current system, the US are pretty much guaranteed to be in, and it seems Mexico are being given more chances than most to also be there.