Mexico dominates in rout of New Zealand

Posted by Paul Carr, ESPN Stats & Information

Mexico beat New Zealand 5-1 on Wednesday in the first leg of their World Cup playoff, with the return game Nov. 20 in New Zealand. Here are five notes on the rout at Estadio Azteca:

• Mexico is now a 99.2 percent favorite to qualify for the World Cup, according to ESPN’s Soccer Power Index. That’s up from 85.0 percent before the series began.

• Mexico’s five goals surpassed its total of three in five home qualifiers during the final round. El Tri hadn’t scored more than two goals in a home qualifier since the first match of this cycle, a 3-1 win over Guyana in June 2012.

The previous time Mexico scored five or more goals at home was a 7-0 win over Belize in June 2008.

• Oribe Peralta scored Mexico’s third goal in the 48th minute. He has eight goals in his past seven international matches, and he’s also scored in seven consecutive games for club and country.

Peralta had six touches in the attacking penalty area, matching the total of the entire New Zealand team.

• Mexico’s dominance was evident in most any statistic. El Tri completed more than three times as many passes (528 to 148) and did so at a much higher clip (85 percent to 60 percent).

The Kiwis barely even sniffed the attacking penalty area, completing only three passes there, compared to Mexico’s 24.

• Even Rafa Marquez got in on the scoring, heading in Mexico’s fifth goal in the 84th minute. The defender didn’t play for Mexico during a 17-month span that ended in October. He now has scored in consecutive international appearances for the first time in his 116-cap career.

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