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WC Qualifying Play-Off

  • November 20, 2013
  • • 1:00 AM
  • • Westpac Stadium, Wellington
  • Referee: F. Brych
  • • Attendance: 35206
2
FT
4

Mexico win Aggregate 9 - 3

World Cup Playoff Preview: New Zealand - Mexico

World Cup Playoff Preview: New Zealand - Mexico

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

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.





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