Oribe Peralta’s hat-trick in Wellington ensured Mexico booked their place in Brazil next summer. Another other than a Mexico win would have been a huge shock after the thrashing in the Azteca last week but once again El Tri were dominant. The 4-2 scoreline on the night completed a comprehensive 9-3 aggregate score and Mexico can now begin planning.
New Zealand actually started the game in a much more positive manner than they had in the Azteca but were unable to find an opening and were instead a goal down after 14 minutes. Peña’s delightful through ball found Peralta and he beautifully dinked the ball over the keeper.
Peralta added his second just before the half hour mark and minutes later completed his hat-trick with a simple tap-in. The Santos Laguna frontman as impressive as ever and easily justifying his inclusion ahead of Chicharito Hernandez. Even at 29 it is easy to see why European clubs would be interested in Peralta.
Before half time, New Zealand had the opportunity to pull a goal back form the spot but Jeremy Brockie saw his effort saved by Moises Muñoz.
With 10 minutes remaining, Christian James did manage a consolation from the spot and when Rory Fallon added a second moments later it appeared New Zealand might be able to salvage something, at least from the second leg but Gullit Peña added a fourth for El Tri.
So as it turned out, Mexico had nothing to worry about from the playoff and have eased into the World Cup but now there are some major decisions to be made.