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Stern tests ahead for Mexico

 By Tom Marshall

Juan Carlos Osorio 'laments' U.S. failure to qualify for World Cup

U.S. head coach Bruce Arena calls his team's failure to qualify for the World Cup "a blemish and a disappointment."

Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio was left disappointed by the United States failure to reach the World Cup, despite the rivalry between the two CONCACAF nations.

El Tri's loss in Honduras, combined with a last-gasp Panama win against Costa Rica, meant the two Central American sides leapfrogged the United States, which lost 2-1 away to Trinidad & Tobago to miss out on its first World Cup since 1986.

"I lament what happened to the United States," said Osorio in the postgame news conference after losing 3-2 to Honduras on Tuesday. "It's a national team we profoundly admire.

"It is similar to us because of its honesty, transparency, fair play and its competitiveness. Unfortunately it won't be there. "

A draw or victory for Mexico would've given the Stars & Stripes a spot in the intercontinental playoff against Australia, but Osorio was adamant his players gave everything in a tough environment in San Pedro Sula.

"We honored the values of fair play towards the other teams fighting for qualification," said Osorio, adding that he was proud of the effort of his team.

Osorio was once again upset at the way Mexico was unable to extend its lead, with El Tri going up twice in the first half through goals from Oribe Peralta and Carlos Vela, before conceding twice in the second half.

Mexico finished the Hexagonal stage of World Cup qualifying in first place on 21 points, but failed to maintain its undefeated record and overtake Costa Rica's all-time Hex record of 24 points from 2002 qualifying.

Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.


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