International Friendly
  • Marcos Rojas (46')
  • Giovani Dos Santos (29' PEN)
  • Marco Fabián (56')

Gio dos Santos, Marco Fabian lead Mexico to win over New Zealand

Giovani dos Santos scored from a penalty in his return to the Mexico national team in a 2-1 friendly win against New Zealand.

The LA Galaxy attacker declined a call-up for this summer's Copa America Centenario but was restored to the starting lineup in Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday, one month before a key World Cup qualifier against the United States.

Dos Santos appeared in form in putting early pressure on the New Zealand goal, but the All Whites had the first good look at goal in the 16th minute.

New Zealand's Marcos Rojas ran past both Hugo Ayala and Jordan Silva on his way into the box and only a good save from Jose Corona prevented the opening goal.

But Mexico took the lead in the 28th minute when Deklan Wynn pulled down Hirving Lozano close to goal, and Dos Santos converted the resulting penalty.

New Zealand nearly equalized three minutes later, but Kosta Barbarouses' strike was ruled out for offside.

Jesus Gallardo had an opportunity to double Mexico's lead just before half-time but saw his first shot blocked and then blasted a second effort over the bar.

And Mexico paid for the miss in the opening minute of the second half when Ayala gave the ball away in his own half, and Rojas put in the equalizer for New Zealand after sliding to meet a good cross from Wynne.

The deadlock did not last long, though, as Mexico restored its lead after a good piece of play in the 56th minute.

Marco Fabian played Oribe Peralta into the box and the Club America striker ran the ball to the end line before cutting back for Fabian to fire home for the 2-1 lead.

New Zealand made a host of changes in search of a second goal but their chances were few and far between as Mexico saw out the win in front of 40,287 fans.