Victor Manuel Vucetich has taken charge of a Mexico team at risk of missing the World Cup if it doesn't win its next two qualifiers against Panama and Costa Rica.

Hired on Thursday, the 58-year old Vucetich is one of the most successful coaches in the Mexican leagues, where he's known as ''King Midas'' after winning 14 of the 15 finals he has managed in his career.

He replaced Jose Manuel De la Torre, who was fired on Saturday after a loss to Honduras at Estadio Azteca. Stand-in Luis Fernando Tena oversaw Mexico's 2-0 loss to the United States on Tuesday.

''Without a doubt, this is the biggest challenge of my career. We are facing big trouble and we have to analyze it and then find a solution,'' Vucetich said.

Mexico lies fifth in the six-team CONCACAF. The top three qualify directly for Brazil next year and the fourth faces playoffs against New Zealand.

Mexico hosts Panama on Oct. 11, then closes at Costa Rica four days later.

''We know that it's a very complex situation, but this is football and everything is possible,'' Vucetich said. ''We are committed to play two good matches and win six points. If we win the first one, then we have a great shot at the playoff against New Zealand.''

Vucetich was let go by Monterrey in this year's Apertura, after leading Monterrey to three straight titles in the CONCACAF Champions League.