By DAN KARELL
When the final whistle blew at Independence Park, a nation sighed in relief.
For the first time in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying Hexagonal stage and in 2013 overall, Mexico finished a match as the winner, taking a 1-0 result on the road against Jamaica. Aldo de Nigris was El Tri’s hero, heading home a curling cross from the veteran Carlos Salcido to take the lead in the 48th minute.
Jamaica goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, as he has done all season in Major League Soccer, stood on his head to keep Mexico from scoring even more, but the Reggae Boyz were unable to find an equalizer. Marvin Elliott had Jamaica’s best chance of the night, but with a wide open net in front of him he headed wide of goal.
The win takes Mexico, for the time being, to the top of the Hex with six points from four games. Right behind them are Honduras with five, and Costa Rica and the United States with four points. The loss keeps Jamaica in the cellar, with just two points from four games and a must-win match on Friday against the United States.
Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday started:
EVERTON TO UNVEIL MARTINEZ AS MANAGER
Roberto Martinez has had a wild last 30 days. From the highs of winning an FA Cup to the lows of being relegated with Wigan, the Spaniard is now just hours away from making his own move back into the Premier League.
Always thought to be atop the shortlist ever since David Moyes left for Manchester United, Everton are set to officially announce Martinez to become the next manager at Goodison Park.
Last Monday, Everton and Wigan agreed on a compensation package worth a reported $2.3 million to buy Martinez out of his contract and make him free to move to Merseyside. The 39-year-old will take over a side that finished an amazing sixth in the table, despite having such a small first team squad at hand.
Since retiring as a player in 2007, Martinez managed at Swansea City until 2009, where he moved to Wigan, miraculously keeping them in the Premier League until this past season, though he was able to win England’s most famous cup competition, something David Moyes never accomplished.
LIGA MX ANNOUNCE APERTURA FIXTURES
Make sure to circle October 19th in your calender.
Liga MX released the fixture list for the upcoming Apertura season, with a rematch of the epic playoff final between Cruz Azul and Club America coming on October 19. Other matches to keep an eye on are UANL Tigris vs. America on July 20, Monterrey vs. Tijuana on August 20, and UNAM Pumas vs. Santos Laguna on October 6.
The release also set the groups for the Copa MX group stage, with Group Two featuring Tigres and Santos Laguna battling for one spot. Just like the Clausura, at season’s end, there will be a three-round playoffs culminating in the two-legged final.
Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani have been called in to lead Uruguay’s Confederations Cup squad. (REPORT)
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has left open the possibility of Zinedine Zidane becoming part of the coaching staff at the Spanish giant. (REPORT)
Arsenal right back Bacary Sagna is reportedly considering a move back to his native France as talks continue over a contract extension with the London club. (REPORT)
West Ham have had a bid for La Liga top scorer Alvaro Negredo rejected. (REPORT)
With the likelihood of midfielders Fernandinho and Henrikh Mkhitaryan leaving this summer, Shakhtar Donetsk have signed Brazilians Wellington Nem from Fluminense and Fernando of Gremio. (REPORT)
What do you make of these reports? Did you doubt Mexico’s chances of winning on Tuesday? Do you see Martinez finding success at Everton? Any other Liga MX fixtures stand out to you?
Share your thoughts below.