Fathers Day tinged with sadness for Mexico team
Updated: 2006-06-19 10:40

Mexico coach Ricardo La Volpe gave his players a day off on Sunday to celebrate Father's Day.

It was a particularly poignant day for the Mexicans whose keeper, Oswaldo Sanchez, flew home on the eve of the finals to attend the funeral of his father.

Fifty-year-old Felipe Sanchez, who was due to travel to watch his son play at the finals, died from a heart attack.

But the Mexican number one returned in time to help Mexico beat Iran 3-1 in their opening game two days later. He also played in his team's scoreless draw against Angola.

"It is Father's Day in Mexico and the team had a special mass this morning at the hotel as a tribute to Oswaldo's dad," a spokesman for the Mexican football association said on Sunday.

"Afterwards, the players went to spend the day with their families and celebrate the day."

Mexico play Portugal in their final Group D game on Wednesday, needing a draw to reach the second round.