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Thursday, January 26, 2006
Mexico rallies for victory over Norway

SAN FRANCISCO -- Luis Ernesto Perez scored in the 87th minute to rally Mexico to a 2-1 victory over Norway in an exhibition game Wednesday night.

The game was part of a series of World Cup tuneups for Mexico, which will play in Group D against Portugal, Iran and Angola in Germany this summer.

Perez, a second-half substitute, beat Norway goalkeeper Espen Johnsen from close range for the game-winner.

Ole Martin Aarst gave Norway a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute, beating goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona with a left-footed shot from about 10 yards away.

Forward Francisco Fonseca slid a 37th-minute goal past Norway goalkeeper Espen Johnsen to tie the score.

Johnsen had frustrated the pro-Mexico crowd by saving a barrage of Mexico chances before Fonseca broke through. Defender Joel Huiqui served the ball from just behind the midfield stripe to Fonseca, who muscled past Norway defender Bard Borgerson and scored.

Mexico outshot Norway, 12-3, in the first half, when Cuauhtemoc Blanco came close to scoring several times, including on long-range shots in the 17th minute and 28th minutes. Johnsen saved both.

Blanco was close again in the 35th minute, heading Pavel Pardo's corner kick on goal before Norway defender Trond Bertelsen headed the ball off the goalline.

The game was more even in the second half. Aarst had a good chance in the 75th minute, but Corona pushed Aarst's powerful header over his crossbar.

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