Mexico produced their finest performance in what seems like an age, in Piojo Herrera’s first game in charge to thrash New Zealand 5-1 in the Estadio Azteca. A dominant performance against a woeful New Zealand was never in doubt once Paul Aguilar broke the deadlock. Goals from Raul Jimenez, Rafa Marquez and a Oribe Peralta brace ensured that El Tri will travel to Wellington with qualification surely in the bag.
The bold move of new boss, Miguel Herrera paid off as his new look Mexican side, minus all the European based players, put in the best performance from El Tri in a long time. Mirroring his successful, Club America side, Mexico attacked from the off and wing-back, Miguel Layun was a constant attacking threat.
New Zealand offered virtually nothing and were content to simply maintain shape, at the expense of any possession. This merely invited pressure and the opening goal was just a matter of time.
Several near misses had passed before Paul Aguilar benefited from the first real defensive blunder. Defender and goalkeeper attempted to clear the same cross but only succeeded in colliding with each other, leaving Aguilar a simple tap-in.
The second quickly followed as Raul Jimenez was able to stoop and head in from close range following a corner that had been nodded into his path at the back post.
The half time score could have been greater but it took just 3 minutes of the second half for Mexico to add a third. Poor defending allowed El Tri to attack down the left once more and a simple cut-back found Oribe Peralta in space to slot the ball home.
10 minutes from time, Peralta added a fourth and again it originated with a cross from the left. However, Peralta’s first was a relatively straight-forward finish, this was an incredible header with the striker back peddling. Straining every muscle Peralta generated enough power and precision to head the ball into the top corner and all but ensure qualification.
There was still time for a fifth, as Rafa Marquez rose at a corner to power in another headed goal and although New Zealand managed to claw a goal back it could not dampen the atmosphere within the Azteca.