The Mexican national team suffered 2022 FIFA World Cup elimination on Wednesday and will now begin its search for a new head coach following Tata Martino’s departure from his role.
Martino confirmed in his postmatch press conference that he would be leaving his position following a 2-1 Group C victory over Saudi Arabia. Despite picking up three points against Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Poland advanced over El Tri following Saudi Arabia’s 93rd minute goal which boosted Poland into second place on goal difference.
Mexico had reached the Round of 16 in its last seven World Cup appearances, but was eliminated in the group stage for the first time since 1978.
“I am the first responsible for this terrible disappointment and frustration that we have,” Martino said. “As the person in charge, it causes a lot of sadness, I fully assume responsibility for this great failure.
“My contract ended as soon as the referee blew the final whistle and there is nothing more to be done,” he added. “It was the game we played the best, we created the most goal opportunities. And we could have scored the number of goals so as not to depend on the other game, but we failed.”
Mexico earned a goal-less draw with Poland before falling to Argentina 2-0 thanks to goals from Lionel Messi and Enzo Fernandez. A multi-goal victory was needed over Saudi Arabia for El Tri to leapfrog Poland into second place, but Salem Al-Dawsari killed off El Tri’s advancement chances in stoppage time.
Martino totaled 42 victories in his 66 matches in charge of El Tri, winning the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Final over the U.S. men’s national team. However, Mexico finished second behind Canada in World Cup Qualifying and will now join the Canadians in an early exit from Qatar.