El Tri in sniffing distance of FIFA Top 10

Team Mexico moved up one spot in the latest FIFA World Rankings.

Gerardo Martino guided El Tri to two wins in the Concacaf Nations League earlier this month and the reward was a bump up to No. 11 in the world rankings.

The FIFA world rankings were released on Oct. 24 and Mexico benefited from Switzerland’s slip (a 1-0 loss at Denmark on Oct. 12 in a Euro Championships qualifier), moving up one spot from its place in the September rankings.

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El Tri outclassed Bermuda 5-1 on Oct. 11 and eased past visiting Panama at Estadio Azteca by a 3-1 score on Oct. 15. During the upcoming November FIFA break, Mexico will play those same rivals: at Panama on Nov. 15 and hosting Bermuda (in Toluca) on Nov. 19.

Martino took over the Mexico job in January after leading Atlanta United to the MLS title. Under his guidance, El Tri has gone 13-1-1 this year, its only loss a 4-0 bruising from Argentina on Sept. 10 in San Antonio. Mexico won the Concacaf Gold Cup this summer for a record eighth time, defeating Team USA in the final.

Belgium tops the latest FIFA World Rankings, as it has in every list released in over a year. World Cup holders France is second, followed by Brazil, England, Uruguay, Portugal, Croatia, Spain, Argentina and Colombia.

The United States is the second-highest Concacaf team, at No. 23. The next Concacaf teams are Jamaica (No. 45), Costa Rica (No. 47) and Honduras (No. 63).

El Tri players in action

El Tri climbs to 11

Carlos Vela raises his arms in exultation after LAFC defeated crosstown rivals LA Galaxy 5-3 on Thursday night. Vela had two goals and an assist. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Although Carlos Vela might not ever wear the Mexican green jersey again, his performance on Thursday night will leave fans hoping he’ll change his mind.

Vela scored twice and added an assist in leading the top-seeded Los Angeles FC past the L.A. Galaxy in a Western Conference semifinal. The 5-3 win moves LAFC into a match-up against the Seattle Sounders for a berth in the MLS final.

Jonathan dos Santos and Uriel Antuna were on the losing side. Dos Santos was twice denied by goalie Tyler Miller while Antuna had a forgettable game, subbed out in minute 58.

Raúl Jiménez scored the winning goal from the penalty spot in a Europa League groups stage clash. Wolverhampton defeated the Slovakian team Slovan Bratislava 2-1 thanks to Jiménez’s goal in minute 63, his 7th in the Europa League competition this season. The Wolves are in second place in Group K after three games with 6 points, trailing Braga (7 points).

Erick Gutiérrez and PSV Eindhoven settled for a disappointing scoreless draw against Lask Linz of Austria in a Europa League contest. Gutiérrez started in midfield and played the entire match, earning a yellow card in minute 30 for a dangerous play. PSV leads Group D with 7 points after three matches.

In Portugal, Porto and Jesús Corona settled for a 1-1 tied against visiting Rangers in a Group G clash. Corona was utilized at right fullback, a new position for him. The result leaves Porto in third place (4 points), behind Young Boys (6 points) and Rangers (4 points).