Former Mexico coach Cardenas dead

Cuernavaca (Mexico), March 27 (IANS) The coach of the Mexican national football team that reached the quarter-finals of the 1970 World Cup, Raul Cardenas, has died aged 87.

“Guero” Cardenas, who passed away on Friday, had a successful career as a player, competing as a defender for Mexican teams Real Club Espana, Guadalajara, Marte, Puebla and Zacatepec and winning two league titles (in 1954-55 and 1957-58) with that latter club, reports Efe.

He also was a member of Mexico’s national squads at World Cups in Switzerland, Sweden and Chile, which were played in 1954, 1958 and 1962, respectively.

After the completion of his playing days, he moved into coaching and led Mexico to the final eight of the 1970 World Cup, a tournament played in his homeland.

In that competition, Mexico drew 0-0 with the powerful Soviet Union, routed El Salvador 4-0 and edged Belgium 1-0 to reach the quarter-final stage, in which they lost to eventual finalists lost to Italy 1-4.

Cardenas also was a successful head coach at the club level between 1968 and 1974, winning five league titles at the helm of Cruz Azul and one more as the coach of Club America.

Those five titles are second-most in league history behind 99-year-old Ignacio Trelles’s seven.

His death came just hours after the sport lamented the passing of one of its greatest stars, Dutchman Johan Cruyff.

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