Football: Mexico friendly confirmed for All Whites

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson.
All Whites coach Anthony Hudson.

The All Whites will play Mexico in an international friendly in October.

The All Whites, 93rd in the world, will travel to Nashville, Tennessee to face the No.14 ranked team in the world.

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson believes the fixture will provide the ideal benchmark for his team one year out from a potential Intercontinental Playoff for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

"For me, Mexico are one of the top teams in the world and you saw that at the World Cup in Brazil where they were incredible," he says of his next opponents, who made it to the Round of 16 in 2014.

"This team will be as good, if not better, than the fifth-best team in South America. So it is very important for us to go and play them, albeit in America. I am sure we will be playing in a stadium with around 70,000 Mexican fans so this will be a very similar team and environment to what we will face next November. This game will give us a real benchmark for where we will need to be in 12 months' time to see where we are at and to prepare [for the Intercontinental Playoff]."

Mexico are familiar foes to the All Whites. In 2013, they were the opponents for Ricki Herbert's side in the Intercontinental Playoff and defeated the All Whites 9-3 on aggregate to book a place in Brazil.

Hudson hopes to have his strongest team together for the fixture - with skipper Winston Reid, Shane Smeltz, Ryan Thomas, Storm Roux, Henry Cameron, Alex Rufer, Deklan Wynne and Glen Moss all likely to return to the squad.

"We were missing quite a few starting players at this last tournament. In the past, going to places like South Korea and China we have fielded a team with lots of debutants but when we are up against it we step up. I don't expect anything less [against Mexico]. I expect us to go there full strength and put on a strong performance."

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 10 Dec 2016 15:32:18 Processing Time: 581ms