Mexico coach Tata Martino departs after early World Cup exit

Tata Martino

Tata Martino is no longer Mexico’s head coach, according to the manager himself.

Martino, speaking after Mexico’s dramatic elimination from the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Wednesday, said his contract is over after El Tri failed to advance into the Round of 16.

"My contract ended as soon as the referee blew the final whistle and there is nothing more to be done," Martino said postgame.

Mexico beat Saudi Arabia 2-1 as Group C concluded, carrying four points after previously drawing Poland 0-0 and losing 2-0 to Argentina. But that wasn’t enough to progress into the knockout rounds, ousted by the goal differential tiebreaker.

Mexico had reached the knockout stage at seven straight World Cups, last failing to make that stage in 1990 (banned from the tournament). However, they’d also lost in the Round of 16 each time.

"I am 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."

Bigger trend

Martino has overseen several down years with Mexico, as they lost both the Concacaf Gold Cup and Nations League titles to Team USA in 2021. They placed second in Concacaf qualifying behind Canada and just completed their worst World Cup finish since 1978, when they also didn’t advance from the group stage.

After winning MLS Cup 2018 with Atlanta United, the 60-year-old Argentine left to lead El Tri. He steered the Five Stripes’ early expansion years.

In Qatar, Martino had Houston Dynamo FC midfielder Hector Herrera in his starting XI for two games. However, he didn’t call in LA Galaxy striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez – Mexico’s all-time leading scorer – amid great scrutiny.