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November 20, 2013 1:00 AM EST
Westpac Stadium — Wellington
Referee:‬ F. Brych‎
Attendance:‬ 35206‎
80′ (PG) Chris James
O. Peralta 14′
83′ Rory Fallon
O. Peralta 29′
O. Peralta 33′
C. Peña 86′

World Cup Playoff Preview: New Zealand - Mexico

Only a miracle can save the Kiwis in Wellington, as they face a 5-1 deficit from the first leg at the Estadio Azteca.

By Seth Vertelney

México festejo - Paul Aguilar
After a qualifying campaign that can only be described as "mostly disastrous", Mexico will qualify for the World Cup if it can avoid what would be by far its biggest disaster yet.

Facing its biggest match in years, El Tri responded by crushing New Zealand 5-1 in the first leg of their World Cup qualifying playoff at the Estadio Azteca last week.

The result leaves Mexico virtually assured of a spot in next summer's World Cup, as New Zealand needs a 4-0 win - or any win by five goals or more - at home in the second leg to advance to Brazil next summer.

Making things more difficult for New Zealand will be the absences of Ivan Vicelich, Leo Bertos, and Chris Wood, who will all serve suspensions after picking up yellow cards in the first leg. Captain Winston Reid had also previously been ruled out of both legs because of an ankle injury.

The Kiwis should be boosted by the return of Shane Smeltz and Marco Rojas to the starting lineup. Rojas could only make a substitute appearance in the first leg, while Smeltz missed the game entirely, with both players nursing injuries.

Mexico has no injury or suspension issues, and head coach Miguel Herrera will have the option to start the same team that smashed New Zealand last week, headlined by Oribe Peralta, who has eight goals in his past seven matches with El Tri.

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
World Cup Qualification - Play-Offs ‎(WCQ)‎ Nov 20, 2013 New Zealand 2 - Mexico 4
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World Cup Qualification - Play-Offs ‎(WCQ)‎ Nov 13, 2013 Mexico 5 - New Zealand 1
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International Friendlies ‎(FR)‎ Jun 1, 2011 Mexico 3 - New Zealand 0
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International Friendlies ‎(FR)‎ Mar 3, 2010 New Zealand 0 - Mexico 2
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
Inter-confederation play-offs 2nd Leg
Times In EST
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
O. Peralta O. Peralta
Santos Laguna
5 0
Chris James Chris James
2 1
Rafa Márquez Rafa Márquez
1 0
Cristian Rodríguez Cristian Rodríguez
Atlético de Madrid
1 0
Maxi Pereira Maxi Pereira
1 0