All Whites to play Mexico at iconic Californian stadium in September

The All Whites will play highly-ranked Mexico at California’s iconic Rose Bowl Stadium in the September FIFA international window.

Mexico, who are 15th in the FIFA men’s rankings, are the first of two opponents being lined up to play New Zealand, with the second yet to be confirmed.

The All Whites are currently ranked 103rd.

NZ Football says the game continues the team’s strategy of facing top 50 ranked sides in preparation for FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifying starting at the end of the year, with fixtures against Egypt (FIFA rank 36), plus one of Croatia (FIFA rank 10) or Tunisia (FIFA rank 41), already scheduled in March in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The match will be played on Sunday September 8, at 12.30pm (NZT), the same afternoon as the finals of the Chatham Cup and Kate Sheppard Cup are currently scheduled.

The All Whites previously faced Mexico at the historic US venue in 2010 where Mexico won 2-0 in front of a crowd of 90,526, the largest-ever for a MexTour match.

Darren Bazeley.

All Whites head coach Darren Bazeley sees this game as a great opportunity for his side to face a top opponent in a high pressure environment:

“Should we qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2026, we are going to be playing sides that are higher ranked than us and this game, especially taking place in front of a likely huge crowd which will predominately be supporting Mexico, in one of the countries the tournament will be happening in, is a brilliant test for us.

“Not many of our squad will have played in an atmosphere like we can expect to see in this game, and it will give us a great taste of what the FIFA World Cup 2026 could feel like, which is no better incentive heading into our qualifying games in October and November.

“We will likely have another game still to be announced in this window but we are now in a fortunate position of having the 2024 schedule locked in with the W Cup alongside Egypt, Croatia and Tunisia this month, followed by the OFC Nations Cup in Vanuatu, Olympics in July, this game in September and FIFA World Cup qualifying in October and November.

“We want to take every step to make sure we are as prepared as possible come qualifying and this match schedule should put us in the best place to perform.”


Game to be played Sunday September 8, 2023

Mexico v New Zealand
Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, California, 12.30pm (NZT)

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