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Herrera: We owe the fans

Mexico’s Miguel Herrera insists his team paid back a debt to their fans in their World Cup intercontinental play-off first leg on Wednesday.

The new head coach of Mexico took charge of his first match in the play-off against New Zealand and tasted immediate success as his team thrashed the visitors at the Estadio Azteca 5-1.

After Mexico stuttered in CONCACAF’s final World Cup qualifying group to only finish fourth and, therefore, face a two-legged play-off for a spot at Brazil 2014, Herrera claimed his team had started to rebuild a positive relationship with their fans after the big win over New Zealand.

“The truth is that the team was in debt with the fans and we repaid it to some extent,” Herrera said.

“(The debt) is not settled yet. We hope to give them more satisfaction by coming back from New Zealand and delivering to them the ticket to the World Cup in Brazil.”

Mexico led 2-0 at half-time thanks to goals from Paul Aguilar and Raul Jimenez after New Zealand had defended stoutly for 30 minutes.

The second half saw Mexico destroy the visitors as Oribe Peralta notched a brace and captain Rafael Marquez added a fifth for the hosts, before Chris James struck for New Zealand in the 85th minute.

Despite the big win, Herrera maintained his job was only half finished before guaranteeing Mexico will win in Wellington in a week.

“I am coach for two games and that’s the reality. I have won nothing. I won a game,” Herrera said.

“We’re going to win the second (leg), I’m sure of it, and they (the Mexican federation) will decide if I go to the World Cup with Mexico. They’ll make that determination.”

Thu 14 November, 2013
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