MEXICO CITY, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Monterrey coach Victor
Vucetich said on Sunday he was dropping his national team
candidacy, leaving Toluca trainer Jose Manuel de la Torre as the
sole official candidate for the vacancy.
Vucetich, speaking after his side maintained the Mexican
Championship's only unbeaten record with a 2-0 win over Torre's
Toluca, told reporters: "Late (Friday) night was when I decided
definitely to step aside.
"The motives for taking this action are personal and more
than anything family."
Toluca's De la Torre is now expected to be announced as
Mexico coach on Monday with the remit of steering his country to
the 2014 World Cup in Brazil amid a conflict between national
team players and the Mexico Football Federation (FMF)
"I think he is the strongest candidate there is, I wish him
the best of success, I think he will fit perfectly in the
national team," Vucetich told Televisa.
De la Torre's brother Nestor resigned in midweek from the
job of national teams director after players revolted against
sanctions he imposed on team members who held an unauthorised
late-night party following a September friendly.
Mexico have been under interim coaches for friendlies since
the World Cup in South Africa where they were eliminated in the
second round by Argentina and Javier Aguirre quit more than
three months ago.
Speaking ahead of Monday's decision, De la Torre told
reporters: "If I was not ready I'd have quit (the race) already
but let's wait for the federation to make it official."
The victory by Vucetich's Monterrey left them four points
clear at the top of Group One of the Apertura championship with
26 points from 12 matches. Santos Laguna, beaten 3-0 at home by
runaway Group Three leaders Cruz Azul, are second.
The 18 teams play each other once in the round-robin phase
of the championship regardless of which of the three groups they
are in. The top two in each group plus the next two best-placed
teams go into the knockout phase.
Group Two is led by San Luis, who have 19 points after their
3-2 win over Queretaro, with Toluca two points behind in second
place and America hovering a point further back before their
visit to Puebla on Sunday.
Cruz Azul, with 28 points in Group Three, are 12 clear of
second-placed Chiapas, who were away to Pumas UNAM on Sunday.
Concacaf Champions League title holders Pachuca, fourth in
Group Two, were held 1-1 at home by Morelia, whose defender Juan
Carlos Reyes saved a penalty after taking over in goal following
the dismissal of their Colombian keeper Miguel Calero.
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