Team profile – mexico (group d)

Testimony of Mexico, remaining head and shoulders above the rest of the CONCACAF nations, was the straightforward manner in which Ricardo Lavolpe’s side sealed their place at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany. A surprising draw in Panama and the customary reverse in the United States were the only two blemishes for El Tricolor on their relentless march to Germany.

Mexico got the final leg of their qualifying campaign off to a great start with a vital win over Costa Rica in San Jose on February 9, 2005. Two goals from midfielder Jaime Lozano inside the opening 15 minutes put them on the road to a 2-1 win. Three points became six two months later after Lavolpe’s charges got the better of the visiting USA side at the Azteca Stadium in another 2-1 victory.

After defeating their

two main rivals in their first couple of games, Mexico were in no mood to lose

to the lesser lights. A 1-1 draw in Panama was followed by a comfortable 2-0 success in Guatemala, a sequence of results that gave them an outright lead in the six-team group.

Subsequent victories over Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica (both 2-0) left Mexico just a point away from assuring their presence in Germany. The USA then put the Aztec party on hold by handing them their first defeat of the qualifiers, 2-0 in Columbus, but El Tri made no mistake at the second time of asking with a resounding five-goal rout of Panama on home soil.

Mexico then wound up their qualifying campaign with another display of attacking might, a 5-2 win over Guatemala, before going down 2-1 to Trinidad and Tobago with a much-changed side in their final game.

WC participations: 12 (1930, 1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1978, 1986, 1994, 1998, 2002)

WC honours: Quarter-finals 1970 and 1986)

Continental Titles: Three times NAFC champions, three times CONCACAF champions, three times Gold Cup, five times Central American champions, three times Pan American champions

Slogan: Aztec passion across the world