Mexico not in just yet

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:29 AM ET

They wanted to come and make it official.

However, Mexico will now have to try and secure a spot for the next round of World Cup qualifying, on the road, in Honduras.

It's not an easy task, and one which has many Mexican soccer fans worried.

"I don't know what the reaction will be like back in Mexico because of this result," said head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson following a 2-2 tie with Canada last night at Commonwealth Stadium. "But I think we played well. We showed a lot of character coming back to tie the game.

"We played a lot better tonight than we did on Saturday (1-0 loss in Jamaica), and if we had played that way on Saturday, we would have qualified for the next phase already."

By earning a point with the tie, Mexico still leads the four-team group with 10 points and one round of games to play.

However, Jamaica's 1-0 victory at home over Honduras early in the day keeps them alive with seven points. Honduras is second in the group with nine, while Canada's two leaves them no chance of advancing.

"We made it a little bit difficult for ourselves, but we're still first in the group," said Eriksson, the former coach of the English national team. "It all depends on us now whether we go through to the next round."

The top two teams in the group move on to the final round of qualifying, joining four teams from the other two groups in the North, Central and Caribbean region. From there, the top three teams move on to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, while the fourth-place team plays the fifth-place qualifier out of South America for a remaining spot.

A loss to Honduras next month, combined by a Jamaican win over Canada would put Mexico in a tie for second place. From there goal differential would break the tie.

"We are not happy with the result today, but we are happy with the way we played," Eriksson said.


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