Sport Soccer

Sunday 24 September 2017

Mexico thrash New Zealand in World Cup play-off

Mexico 5 New Zealand 1

Mexico's Oribe Peralta (C) celebrates a goal with team mates Antonio Naelson
Mexico's Oribe Peralta (C) celebrates a goal with team mates Antonio Naelson "Sinha" (L) and Paul Aguilar during their 2014 World Cup qualifying playoff first leg soccer match against New Zealand at Azteca stadium in Mexico City

MEXICO thumped New Zealand 5-1 in the first leg of their qualifying playoff tonight to move a big step closer to a place in next year's World Cup finals.

After scoring just three goals in their last four CONCACAF qualifiers at home, Mexico rediscovered their scoring touch as they outclassed the Oceania champions at the Azteca Stadium.

Defender Paul Aguilar opened the scoring for 'El Tri' in the 32nd minute and Raul Jimenez quickly added a second to give Mexico a 2-0 lead at halftime.

Striker Oribe Peralta scored twice in the second half and Rafael Marquez added the fifth.

Chris James grabbed a late consolation goal for New Zealand who will host the return leg in Wellington next Wednesday with the winners advancing to next year's tournament in Brazil.

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