Nov 12, 2013, 10:45 PM EDT
Mexico has done this before, positioning its kickoff for an afternoon start – the better to exploit all its advantages of playing at Azteca Stadium. Who could blame them? All is fair in love and $650 million World Cup berths.
Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. locally (or 3:30 p.m. ET); the game can be seen on ESPN, Univision or Univision Deportes.
Why get started during the day when more Mexicans could take in an evening kickoff time, which is more typical of a mid-week match? New Zealand players will struggle to deal with the thin air (altitude is over 7,000 feet) as it is. All the better if they also must deal with the hottest possible afternoon temperatures, not to mention a time of day when smog levels reach their ickiest.
All of this is after the All Whites traveled halfway around the world to arrive over the weekend into Mexico City.
More on the match itself Wednesday at ProSoccerTalk on Wednsday.
Meanwhile, don’t forget that Jordan and Uruguay also begin their home-and-away playoff; Wednesday’s first leg is in Amman, Jordan. Liverpool’s Luis Suarez is warning anyone who will listen that Jordan cannot be taken lightly by his country.
But the oddsmakers say: uh, go ahead and take them lightly. If you know a guy who knows a guy, the odds you’ll get on Jordan getting past Suarez, Edinson Cavani and the rest of Uruguay’s talented team, never mind that wobbly World Cup qualifying effort, land anywhere from 9-1 to 16-1.
Them ain’t good odds.
The European playoffs (also home-and-away sets with a berth in Brazil on the line) begin Friday. As a reminder, here are those matchups:
- Preview: Atlético Madrid back on track before Champions League visit from goal-shy Milan 0
- Preview: Bayern Munich on guard ahead of Arsenal’s Champions League visit 0
- Third time’s the harm: Fan violence forces abandonment of Trabzonspor’s match with Fenerbahce 2
- If you had Pepe Reina in your “European star rumored for MLS” pool today, you win! 0
- US women lose second straight for first time since 2001 after ugly 5-3 defeat to Denmark 4
- Premier League Playback: Fifth place finish for Man United? Superstar Shaw, Arsenal’s big chance 0
- Revs Waive DelPiccolo; Roster Stands at 27
- Inter President Denies Holding Talks with Chicharito
- Nearly Perfect Start for Galaxy, Result Aside
- USWNT Lose to Denmark 5-3 in Algarve Cup
- Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando Named MLS Player of the Week
- Will Johnson Signs New Multi-Year Contract With Portland Timbers
- Martino and Moyes Trapped in Can't-Win Situations
- CCL Watch: Cruz Azul Suffer First Loss
- TV Ratings for MLS Season Opener Increase 283% in 1 Year
- Liga MX Radar: Michael Arroyo Scores a Quad