Mexico beat New Zealand to reach World Cup finals | sports | Hindustan Times
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Mexico beat New Zealand to reach World Cup finals

sports Updated: Nov 20, 2013 14:44 IST

Mexico qualified for their sixth successive World Cup on Wednesday with a 4-2 victory in the second leg of their intercontinental play-off against New Zealand, for a 9-3 aggregate win.

Santos forward Oribe Peralta again proved the All Whites' tormentor with a first-half hat-trick in Wellington, adding to the brace he scored in El Tri's 5-1 win in the first leg in Mexico City last week.

His goals, and a late effort from Carlos Pena, capped a roller-coaster qualification campaign for the Mexicans, who have now made 15 of the last 20 World Cups – making them one of the most consistent teams in international football.

Mexico had vowed before Wednesday's game to avoid complacency in the return fixture with 79th-ranked New Zealand.

The world's 24th ranked team, regarded as a regional footballing powerhouse, had won only two of their 10 CONCACAF qualifiers, scoring a paltry seven goals and shedding three managers along the way.