Football: Mexico names Miguel Herrera as coach for crucial World Cup play-off

Miguel Herrera became Mexico's fourth coach in less than six weeks when he was chosen yesterday to lead the team for their last-ditch bid to qualify for the World Cup. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS
Miguel Herrera became Mexico's fourth coach in less than six weeks when he was chosen yesterday to lead the team for their last-ditch bid to qualify for the World Cup. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

MEXICO CITY (REUTERS) - Miguel Herrera became Mexico's fourth coach in less than six weeks when he was chosen yesterday to lead the team for their last-ditch bid to qualify for the World Cup.

Herrera, whose club side America are champions and league leaders, was appointed by the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) for next month's two-leg play-off against New Zealand.

"No one likes to be changing coaches ... when the results don't come, decisions have to be made," FMF president Justino Compean told a news conference.

"We've touched rock-bottom ... Mexican football has been affected in all its aspects," he noted, before adding that Herrera's appointment was temporary - for a warm-up against Finland on Oct 30 and the World Cup play-off.

Mexico, who finished fourth in the Concacaf's six-nation group by the skin of their teeth, meet Oceania winners New Zealand at the Azteca on Nov 13 and in Wellington on Nov 20 for a place at the 2014 finals in Brazil.

Herrera replaces Victor Vucetich who lasted two matches, a home win over Panama a week ago, followed by a 2-1 defeat against Costa Rica on Tuesday that very nearly left Mexico out of the finals for the first time since 1990.

They sealed a play-off berth only after the United States, who qualified from the group with Costa Rica and Honduras, scored two late goals to beat Panama.