This was it.
Mexico was down to its last hope to qualify for the FIFA 2014 World Cup.
Mexico hosted New Zealand, who would be El Tri’s rival for this two-legged playoff. The game had a lot of tension before kickoff due to a lot of questions…
Is Piojo too bull-headed to lead Mexico? Can Mexico gel against a taller, more physical team? Can Mexico break the bunker?
After 31 minutes and several close attempts…its was Paul Aguilar who netted a goal to lift El Tri. Mexico’s possession and passing after the goal became much more rhythmic. Just eight minutes later, Raul Jiménez headed a goal off an corner and assist from Peña.
Mexico went into the half with their heads held high, but knew the game was far from over. May pundits claimed that Mexico needed at least two goals to make sure they can play with some confidence in New Zealand. Well, after two minutes into the half, Rafa passed a beauty to Layún, then Layún gave a nice assist to Peralta. Mexico was sitting with a nice 3 goal lead.
Mexico went fairly slow after the third goal, and the possession then shifted towards New Zealand. The pressure was on the Kiwi’s and Mexico needed capitalize.
Oribe once again headed a goal from a Layún cross. 4-0 was the lead that the Azteca craved. It was a lead that had been missing for ages with this Mexican side.
But it wasn’t over as Rafa, the skipper, headed another in the 83rd minute off a corner. New Zealand knew it was over, but a consolation goal was scored in the 84th minute by Christian James.
Nevertheless, the goal from New Zealand didn’t do much as Mexico was locked in for a comfortable trip to New Zealand.
On a last note, New Zealand will lose key players for the last match; Chris Wood, Vicelich, and Andrew Durante.
- Possession: 73% Mexico, 27% New Zealand
- Shots: 21 (10) Mexico, 3 (0) New Zealand
- Corner kicks: 6 Mexico, 1 New Zealand
- Fouls: 5 Mexico, 11 New Zealand
- Yellow cards: 0 Mexico, 5 New Zealand