Starry Jimenez keeps Mexico's hopes alive

Updated: 2013-10-13 08:23

By Agence France-Presse in Mexico City(China Daily)

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Mexico won a new chance to qualify for the World Cup after an epic bicycle kick by Raul Alonso Jimenez helped his team defeat Panama on Friday.

Jimenez scored his wonder goal five minutes before the end and just two minutes after entering the game to give the home side a 2-1 victory at a packed Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

"For me it was very important to come into the game and make a difference with this great goal at that time, because we regained confidence and we made fans happy," Jimenez said.

Mexico was in danger of missing its first World Cup finals in a quarter century after having won only one game and scoring a paltry four goals in eight qualifiers before Friday's triumph.

"El Tri" have qualified for 14 of the last 19 world tournaments and last missed it in 1990 when Mexico was banned for fielding overage players in a youth tournament.

The victory gives Mexico command of the fourth spot in the CONCACAF regional group, which would give it a playoff game with Oceania champions New Zealand.

(China Daily 10/13/2013 page7)