Mexico and New Zealand face each other again this Saturday in the continuation of a series that has had some key moments for Mexico. From one of the most disastrous tours that Mexico has ever had to the end of one of the worst qualification campaigns, New Zealand and Mexico have had a notable history that has always included lots of goals
1980: New Zealand 4 Mexico 0
The first match between New Zealand and Mexico took part in one of the lowest moments that Mexican football has ever had, although it's not widely known. In 1980, Mexico went on a tour of Oceania with disastrous results. Their first game was in New Zealand and Mexico lost 4-0. After that, they played two games in Australia and tied both (2-2, 1-1). The tour ended with a 2-0 win over Fiji and 1-0 win over Tahiti. While they were wins, if you take into account how Tahiti fared in the 2013 Confederations Cup (3 losses with 1 goal scored and 24 goals against), they were terrible results. In particular, the defeat to New Zealand was a prophetic as Mexico would go on to miss the 1982 World Cup and New Zealand would go on to qualify to their first ever World Cup.
2010: Mexico 2 New Zealand 0
The rematch between the two countries would not happen until 30 years later when they faced each other in the Rose Bowl in a friendly in preparation for the World Cup. Both Mexico and New Zealand had qualified to South Africa (New Zealand’s second World Cup ever). The match was one of the few FIFA dates before South Africa and the last one with the A-team in U.S. soil. Mexico dominated the match but didn’t score until the second half when Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez opened the scoring with a terrific header. Although he had scored against Bolivia, for many this was the moment when Chicharito arrived with the national team. Carlos Vela also scored some minutes later to seal the game.
2011: Mexico 3 New Zealand 0
A year after the World Cup, Mexico and New Zealand faced each other prior to the 2011 Gold Cup. This was the final match for Mexico before the competition, and unlike the year before, this time El Tri was able to score early and they were already 3-0 up at halftime. Giovani Dos Santos scored twice in this one and Aldo De Nigris netted the third.
2013: Mexico 5 New Zealand 1 : World Cup Qualifier first leg
After their worst World Cup qualification process, Mexico ended up facing New Zealand in the CONCACAF/OFC playoff for the final spot for the World Cup in Brazil. The first leg was at the Estadio Azteca, where Mexico had only beaten Panama during the Hexagonal and would be going it with a new coach, Miguel Herrera. Miguel Herrera had called up mostly Club America players and no European based players. Still, at the Azteca the game was all Mexico as they took a 2-0 lead at halftime and then scored three more in the second half for a 5-1 victory. Paul Aguilar and Raul Jimenez scored the first two goals. Oribe Peralta scored the third and fourth, and Rafael Marquez scored the final goal. Chris James scored for New Zealand against the run of play. Mexico could have scored more goals and the scoreline flattered New Zealand in what was the best game for Mexico in a very bad 2013.
2013: New Zealand 2 Mexico 4 : World Cup Qualifier second leg
33 years later, Mexico went back to face New Zealand in Auckland. Taking advantage of New Zealand's need to score goals, Mexico sat back and countered. With great games by Miguel Layun and Carlos Alberto “Gullit” Peña, Mexico created the chances for Oribe Peralta, who scored a hat trick in the first half. New Zealand missed a penalty and Mexico went on to take a 3-0 lead at halftime. The second half had a late comeback from New Zealand, who scored off a Chris James penalty and a Rory Fallon goal, but Peña scored a goal in the final minutes for the final 4-2 score and the ticket to Brazil. On Saturday, Mexico face a team that has played a large part in recent Mexican history, and hopefully, the recent tradition of lots of goals and Mexican victories continues.