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Rediff.com  » Sports » Mexico thump Panama to qualify for World Cup

Mexico thump Panama to qualify for World Cup

September 08, 2005 13:12 IST

Mexico qualified for the football World Cup on Wednesday by crushing nine-man Panama 5-0 at the Azteca stadium.

Luis Perez, Rafael Marquez, Jared Borgetti, Francisco Fonseca and captain Pavel Pardo shared the goals as Mexico booked their place in Germany with two games to spare.

Mexico became the ninth team to qualify as they joined world champions Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine, the United States, Japan, South Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia, plus hosts Germany.

Mexico, who needed only a draw, are second in the final stage of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament with 19 points from eight games, behind leaders the United States on their head-to-head record.

Panama, surprise runners-up in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July, are on the bottom with two points.

"Now, we have to work hard to do well at the World Cup," said Borgetti after scoring his 14th goal of the qualifiers and his 37th for his country.

Mexico, who suffered a dispiriting 2-0 defeat against the United States on Saturday, went ahead on the half hour when striker Luis Perez collected a rebound on his chest and volleyed home from the edge of the area without letting the ball touch the ground.

The other goals all came in the second half.

Barcelona defender Rafael Marquez increased Mexico's lead in the 54th minute when he headed in Pavel Pardo's free kick before Borgetti won and converted a penalty five minutes later.

The Desert Fox, his country's all-time leading scorer, fired his penalty into the left corner after being bundled over by Luis Moreno.

Francisco Fonseca headed the fourth in the 74th minute, three minutes after replacing Antonio Naelson, and Pavel Pardo completed the rout two minutes later with a long-range shot which bounced awkwardly in front of Jaime Penedo.

The Central Americans had Ricardo Phillips sent off in the 78th minute for a foul on Carlos Morales, then defender Felipe Baloy followed two minutes later for a second bookable offence.

 

Armando Cesar Tovar
Source:
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