The FIFA World Cup 2014 intercontinental playoff matchup between 4th place CONCACAF and the OFC winner is set: Mexico vs New Zealand. The two teams will square off in a 2-leg playoff played on November 13 (at Mexico City) and November 20 (at Wellington).
In a wild finish to the CONCACAF qualifiers, Mexico needed help from a long-time foe. Losing their match in Costa Rica, Mexico would need a draw or victory by USA over Panama. A victory by Panama would propel them into the CONCACAF playoff spot and eliminate Mexico. Tied at 1-1, Panama scored in the 83′ to take a 2-1 lead against the Americans, who already clinched 1st place in the group. After 90′ of play the home Panamanian crowd was stunned by two extra-time goals by USA, losing the match 3-2 and their shot at a World Cup playoff.
As a result of the Panama loss, Mexico (2-5-3) remained in 4th place of the qualifying round to advance.
Mexico recent fixtures
Oct. 15: at Costa Rica, L, 1-2
Oct. 11: vs Panama, W, 2-1
Sept. 10: at USA, L, 0-2
Sept. 6: vs Honduras, L, 1-2
June 11 vs Costa Rica, D, 0-0
The OFC winner, New Zealand arrives to the playoff winning all 6 of their last 6 qualifying matches. The All Whites are looking to qualify for their third ever World Cup (previous appearances in 1982 and 2010).
New Zealand recent fixtures
March 26 at Solomon Islands, W, 2-0
Mar. 22: vs New Caledonia, W, 2-1
Sept. 5 at Saudi Arabia, W, 1-0
Sept. 9 at United Arab Emirates, L, 0-2
Oct. 15 at Trinidad & Tobago, D, 0-0