The All Whites are set to take on Mexico in their second match of the FIFA Confederations Cup on Thursday morning (NZT).
In the past seven years, Mexico and New Zealand have set foot on the same field a total of five times, the North Americans emerging triumphant on each occasion.
With the All Whites aiming to buck that trend tomorrow, here are five things to know about CONCACAF giants Mexico.
Mexico have made five previous appearances at the FIFA Confederations Cup with their debut coming in 1995, when the competition was then known as the King Fahd Cup. Mexico won the Confederations Cup in 1999 and will look to re-create history at this year’s tournament. As well as attending their sixth Confederations Cup, Mexico have also appeared at 15 FIFA World Cups and currently lead the table in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying.
FIFA world ranking
Mexico are currently ranked 17th in the world and will look to build on that with a strong showing at the Confederations Cup, as well as their remaining World Cup qualifying matches. Their highest ever FIFA ranking first came in February 1998, when they were listed as the fourth best team in the world. This spell ended in June 1998 and it wasn’t until May 2006 that Mexico again appeared in fourth spot. It was a brief standing though and had come to an end by the next month. Their lowest ever FIFA ranking occurred in July 2015, when they were placed at 40th.
Mexico’s kit uses a combination of three colours, relevant to the national flag. The ‘tricolour’ composition of green shirts, white shorts and red socks originating from the flag correspond to the nickname of the national side, which is ‘El Tri’.
Just like New Zealand does with Australia, Mexico has an ongoing sporting rivalry with the USA. Since 1934, Mexico had never lost to the States on home soil but that run was finally ended in 2012 when the Americans finally triumphed 1-0 in a friendly at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. The pair have played each other 66 times, with Mexico winning 34 of those matches, USA winning 18 and the other 14 matches resulting in draws. In terms of goals scored, Mexico have found the back of the net 131 times, far more than the USA, who have scored on only 75 occasions.
Mexico played their first international match in 1923 against Guatemala and were defeated 3-2. Their biggest ever win came against the Bahamas in 1987, when Mexico ran rampant to the tune of 13-0. In 1961, they fell to their biggest ever defeat with an 8-0 loss to England. Prior to arriving in Russia, Mexico had played seven matches this year, winning five, losing one and drawing the other. Their only recent setback was a 2-1 loss to Croatia. They opened their Confederations Cup campaign with a thrilling 2-2 draw against Portugal.
2017 FIFA Confederations Cup – All Whites draw
- 21 June 9pm (6am 22 June NZT) v Mexico, Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
- 24 June 6pm (3am 25 June NZT) v Portugal, Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg
All FIFA Confederations Cup matches live on SKY Sport