Mexico cruises past New Zealand in first leg playoff to move closer to World Cup

Mexico cruises past New Zealand in first leg playoff to move closer to World Cup

World Cup Qualifying

Mexico cruises past New Zealand in first leg playoff to move closer to World Cup

OribePeraltaMexico1-NewZealand (Mexsport)

By FRANCO PANIZO

It would take a world-class collapse for Mexico to mess this one up.

Mexico saw its dreams of reaching the 2014 World Cup become a bit more like reality on Wednesday, as it dismantled New Zealand, 5-1, in the first leg of their playoff series at Estadio Azteca. Oribe Peralta led the way for the Mexicans with a brace while Rafa Marquez, Paul Aguilar and Raul Jimenez each added a goal of their own.

El Tri were rarely ever threatened by New Zealand over the course of the 90 minutes in Mexico, but it took until after the half-hour mark for the hosts to break through. Aguilar scored the opener in the match in the 32nd minute, inspiring enough confidence in Mexico to score the eventual winner eight minutes later through Jimenez.

The lone blunder for Mexico came after they had scored all of their goals. A minute after Marquez capped the scoring for El Tri, Chris James pulled one back for the All Whites to give them a sliver of hope ahead of the decisive leg at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Nov. 20.

What do you think of the Mexico’s 5-1 victory over New Zealand? Surprised by how dominant El Tri were? Still blaming Graham Zusi for scoring that goal vs. Panama last month?

Share your thoughts below.

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