Peralta scores three as Mexico clinches World Cup spot
Wellington, New Zealand (SportsNetwork.com) - Mexico put the finishing touches on its intercontinental playoff win over New Zealand on Wednesday, recording a 4-2 victory in the second leg courtesy of a hat trick from Oribe Peralta to book its place in Brazil with an 9-3 aggregate triumph.
A 5-1 win for El Tri over New Zealand in the first leg last Wednesday at Azteca Stadium put Mexico firmly in control, and Peralta's first-half hat trick merely capped the dominant display.
Peralta scored two goals in the first-leg win and he picked up where he left off on Wednesday by tallying the opening goal after 14 minutes as he finished off a low cross from Carlos Pena.
The lead was doubled in the 29th when Peralta provided a clinical finish in front of goal by redirecting a pass from Miguel Layun past stranded goalkeeper Glen Moss.
Pena and Peralta hooked up again four minutes later to help the striker complete his hat trick with Pena beating the offside trap and squaring the ball to Peralta for another first-time finish.
New Zealand managed to find the net 10 minutes from time when Chris James converted a penalty kick, while Rory Fallon scored for the Kiwis again three minutes later.
But Mexico's aggregate lead was never in danger and Pena added another goal in the 87th minute to qualify for its sixth straight World Cup with the draw for the group stage taking place on Dec. 6 in Brazil.
11/20 02:52:28 ET