x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Eriksson hangs on by a hair

Sven Goran Eriksson kept his job as manager of Mexico, for the time being at least, after his team just qualify for the final World Cup qualifying round.

MEXICO CITY // Sven Goran Eriksson kept his job as manager of Mexico, for the time being at least, after his team stumbled into the final stages of the Concacaf region qualifying on goal difference, narrowly avoiding missing out on the World Cup for the first time since 1990. Honduras, undefeated against Mexico at home since 1998, beat Eriksson's side 1-0 thanks to an own goal from defender Ricardo Osorio who diverted a corner from Danilo Turcios into his own net in the 52nd minute on a muddy pitch in San Pedro Sula - a result which saw both teams reach the final round.

The Mexicans' frustration then boiled over and Gerardo Torrado and Arsenal's Carlos Vela were sent off. Mexico finished level on points in the four-team group but scored three more goals than Jamaica, who beat Canada 3-0 in Kingston with strikes from Luton Shelton, Marlon King and substitute Omar Cummings. Mexico won all three of their home games, but couldn't win on the road, even stumbling to a draw in Canada last month. When asked if he would resign, the former England coach Eriksson said he wouldn't. "My wish is to take the team to the World Cup in South Africa," he said.

Trinidad needed only a draw to join the USA as qualifiers from Group One, but Sunderland strikers Kenwyne Jones and Dwight Yorke scored in a two-minute span of the second half against Cuba, and Keon Daniel's late strike sent the fans home happy from Hasely Crawford Stadium after a 3-0 win. Costa Rica and El Salvador were already qualified from Group Three. * Reuters