Photo: Mexican national team
Mexico’s national soccer team will play a home friendly against Israel on May 28 as part of its final preparations for the 2014 World Cup, which will get underway two weeks later in Brazil, the Mexican soccer federation said Friday.
The match will be played at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City and will be the only international friendly El Tri plays on Mexican soil before competing in soccer’s showcase event, the federation added.
The Israeli side did not qualify for this year’s World Cup.
Mexican coach Miguel Herrera will have all of his players available for the friendly, since it will be played after the European soccer season concludes in late May.
Mexico secured a berth in the World Cup despite a miserable CONCACAF qualifying campaign, booking its spot in Brazil by defeating New Zealand 9-3 on aggregate in last year’s inter-confederation playoff.
Since then, it routed South Korea 4-0 in one friendly on Jan. 29 in San Antonio, Texas, and then played Nigeria to a scoreless draw in another in Atlanta on Wednesday.
Mexico is scheduled to play friendlies against the U.S. national team on April 5, Ecuador on May 31, Bosnia and Herzegovina on June 3 and Portugal on June 6. All of those matches will be played in the United States.
Mexico will play its first match in the World Cup’s Group A on June 13 against Cameroon in the northeastern Brazilian city of Natal.
It will then face host Brazil on June 17 and Croatia on June 23 in its final two matches of the round-robin stage of the tournament.