MEXICO CITY (AP) — Diego Cocca was fired as coach of Mexico’s national team on Monday, four days after a 3-0 loss to the United States in a CONCACAF Nations League semifinal.

The federation said Jaime Lozano will take over the national team. Lozano coached under-23 team to a bronze medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Cocca was hired in February and led El Tri to three wins, a loss and three draws. El Tri had not lost to the U.S. by three goals in 23 years.

“You can lose to the United States, because that’s soccer,” Mexican Football Federation President Juan Carlos Rodríguez. “What is unacceptable is the way that victory was ruled out from the start due to logistical decisions that split the group.”

Several Mexican players had complained about the long rides to practice sessions preceding the match in Las Vegas.

Cocca took over from Gerardo Martino after Mexico was eliminated from the World Cup in the first round last fall, ending a streak of seven straight appearances — and exits — in the round of 16.

Mexico rebounded to defeat Panama 1-0 on Sunday’s third-place match, which drew a crowd of 35,000 to a roughly half-full Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

El Tri opens the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean, against Honduras on Sunday in Houston, then play Haiti four days later at Glendale, Arizona, before closing the group stage against invited guest Qatar on July 2 at Santa Clara, California.

___

AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

More about: