Mexico vs. New Zealand
Date and Time: Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 2 p.m. ET
Location: Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, Russia
Soccer Odds: Mexico -750, O/U 3
Mexico vs. New Zealand TV Coverage: FOX Sports 1
A 2-2 draw against Portugal wasn't the best result in the world for Mexico. It will feel as if it could have done better and perhaps deserved better in the end. Still, it's a vital point, as that is clearly the toughest match that Group A will have to offer.
El Tri would be wise to not overlook New Zealand, though. It would be easy to have an eye on that last match against Russia, only to get nicked by the Kiwis and put into a horrible spot going into that last fixture. Mexico can't be eliminated, nor can it advance into the knockout round with any result on Wednesday night, but three points will put it in a really strong spot, particularly if there is a winner of the Russia/Portugal match earlier in the day.
New Zealand always was the worst team in this tournament, and it sure looked it against Russia. The story on the Russians will be told in matches against Portugal and Mexico, but they sure looked like world-beaters on Friday. The 2-0 loss isn't the end of the world for the Kiwis, but another loss in this one will probably be the end of the road after just two matches. New Zealand will be eliminated with a loss if Portugal and Russia draw or if Portugal beats Russia.
61 – The percent of possession Mexico had against Portugal in its first match of this tournament.
The Mexicans were bright for sure, and they were deserving of their two goals from Chicharito and Hector Moreno. That said, Osorio is right in that he believes his team should be doing more from its possession. That was his main complaint after that opening match, and he'll demand better finishing, or at least better opportunities for finishing in this one.
We have to wonder if there are going to be changes in the Mexican lineup, particularly in favor of some more attacking options. Giovani dos Santos looked dangerous when he came on in place of Carlos Vela in the second half, and that might be a logical change to make for this fixture.
Mexico vs. New Zealand Free Picks
The biggest question from that New Zealand opening match is how in the heck it didn't end up losing by five or six goals. The fact of the matter is that the Kiwis are bright and do the best job they can defending, but this is a horrible spot for them.
The power in the Mexican midfield cannot be understated. Whether it's Jonathan dos Santos, Andres Guardado, Hector Herrera, Oribe Peralta or any of the other great options Osorio has at his disposal, the common thread is that this team knows how to possess the ball. The four men in the New Zealand midfield are going to be up against it for sure, and we just don't see them holding on against Mexico.
There's a chance if this match wears on that El Tri could get held, but the more likely result is a flood of goals behind Stefan Marinovic to send Mexico to one of its bigger victories on a major international stage in its history.
Mexico vs. New Zealand Soccer Pick: Mexico -2.5 ( +160 ) at BookMaker.eu
Mexico vs. New Zealand Score Prediction: Mexico 4, New Zealand 0