MEXICO CITY (AP) — Miguel Herrera was hired as the new Mexico coach on Friday for two playoff games next month against New Zealand, with the winning team advancing to next year's World Cup in Brazil.
Herrera replaces Victor Manuel Vucetich, who coached only two matches. The last was a 2-1 loss on Tuesday against Costa Rica.
Herrera, who is leaving as coach of Mexican club America, is Mexico's fourth coach in just under two months as the team struggles to reach its sixth straight World Cup.
Mexican federation officials said they would evaluate after the two matches to decide if Herrera will continue.
"This is a crisis situation we are going through," said Justino Compean, president of the Mexican football federation. "Nobody planned for this and nobody likes it. We are sorry for our fans, we are saddened along with our club owners, and we are sorry for our sponsors."
Mexico was lucky to reach the playoff. Panama missed out when it lost to the United States 3-2 on Tuesday after two stoppage-time goals. Panama was leading 2-1 after an 83rd-minute goal, a result that would have eliminated Mexico from the playoff.