Mexico won the first leg of their intercontinental World Cup qualifying playoff against New Zealand 5-1 last Wednesday, and now the fixture reverses, on the other side of the world. With El Tri looking to officially punch their ticket to Brazil and the All Whites facing an uphill climb just to get even, this match could be thrilling, dull, or some combination of the two.
With the game taking place in Wellington, the time will be a bit strange for North American viewers, as it will begin at 10 pm PT today (that's 1 am ET, which is Wednesday). The match will be shown in the U.S. on ESPN in English and on UniMas and Univision Deportes in Spanish.
New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert has already revealed his starting lineup for this match. Five changes are to be made for the home side from last week's game, including the introduction of perhaps the world's most interestingly named player, Storm Roux.
Here's the Kiwis' reported lineup for the game:
GK: Glen Moss
D: Storm Roux, Andrew Durante, Tommy Smith, Bill Tuiloma
M: Marco Rojas, Michael McGlinchey, Chris James, Kosta Barbarouses
In contrast, it does not appear Mexico coach Miguel Herrera has publicly shared his lineup, although one would expect the team to either remain entirely intact or with only a change or two, based on the commanding performance in the first leg. Remember, Herrera did not call up any of Mexico's European-based players for the playoff, so don't expect to see Chicharito or Giovani Dos Santos featuring, since they stayed in Europe.
This is it: can Mexico get the job done, or does New Zealand have the best game in their history ahead? We'll find out very soon!
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