WELLINGTON - Like a famous Mexican songs says "It is not important to get there first, it is just important to get there" ("El Rey" by Jose Alfredo Jimenez); the Mexican National Team grabs the second to last FIFA World Cup ticket and becomes the 31st country to qualify to the 32 team tournament in Brazil.
El Tri took a 2-4 victory over New Zealand in the second leg of their last chance World Cup playoff series; 9-3 in aggregate score after the 5-1 win at the Estadio Azteca.
The hero of the night was none other than Santos Laguna striker Oribe Peralta who in 33 minutes of the first half made it clear that the host would have no chance of a miraculous comeback scoring a ‘Hat-Trick’
In the 14th minute of play Carlos ‘Gulit’ Peña dribbled the ball down the middle of the field and sent in a through ball to Oribe Peralta who chipped the ball over the charging goalkeeper.
In the 28th minute a fast breakaway down the left wing by MIguel Layun helped set up Oribe Peralta’s second goal of the match. Layun sent in the low cross to Peralta who shot right under the goalkeeper’s nose without any type of pressure from the defenders.
Four minutes after the second goal Peralta sealed his ‘Hat-Trick’ in a similar play from the second goal. This time it was once again Carlos Peña who ended up setting up the goal by putting in a low cross from the left side for Peralta to shoot into the net to mark his third of the match and fifth goal of the series.
The host got a golden opportunity to get a goal back in the first half when goalkeeper Moises Muñoz was called for tripping the New Zealand forward. Replays showed that Muñoz made little to no contact with the player. Nonetheless Muñoz still blocked the ensuing penalty shot.
In the second half Mexico had several opportunities to increase the score, but their more relax attitude clouded their clinical finishing. It was the host who managed to get on the score sheet in the second half. In the 80th minute via another penalty kick Chris James scored the first for the All Whites. Three minutes later Rory Fallon scored once again for the host to give the home crowd something to cheer about.
All of that cheering came to an end in the 86th minute as Carlos ‘Gulit’ Peña who already had two assists scored his goal to make the score 2-4 (9-3 in the aggregate).
The Mexican Federation will now meet on December second to decide who will be the manager to lead Mexico into the World Cup. The overwhelming favorite will be the current manager Miguel ‘Piojo’ Herrera; but it still has to be made official.