Mexico routs Belize, advances to the next round

Fernando Arce and Jared Borgetti each scored twice top help Mexico cruise to a 7-0 World Cup qualifying win over Belize in the final match before Sven-Goran Eriksson officially takes charge.

The result eased Mexico into the first group stage of qualifying for the CONCACAF region by an aggregate victory of 9-0 following last Sunday’s 2-0 win in the first leg played in Houston.

Arsenal striker Carlos Vela opened the scoring for Mexico in the eighth minute, cutting onto his favorite left foot before driving low into the corner.

A mixture of Mexican profligacy in front of goal and good saves from Belize goalkeeper Shane Orio meant the home side had to wait until Andres Guardado’s deflected shot on 34 minutes to double the lead.

A neat interchange between Vela and Cesar Villaluz created Arce’s first goal in first half stoppage time. Within two minutes of the restart the Santos Laguna forward was on the spot to tap home his second from a cross by Oscar Rojas.

Veteran Jared Borgetti extended his record as Mexico’s career scoring leader with a trademark header after 62 minutes before two late goals added gloss to the scoreline.

Belize defender Trevor Lennen put through his own net in injury time for the sixth goal, before Borgetti added his second, and Mexico’s seventh with practically the last kick of the game.

Central American minnows Belize, placed 158 places below Mexico in the FIFA world rankings, were completely outclassed in the match played in Monterrey, in northeast Mexico.

A half chance dragged wide by Deon McCauley in the 37th minute was the closest Belize came to scoring, with Mexican goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez a virtual spectator for most of the game.

Eriksson will now take over the Mexican team from interim coach Jesus Ramirez. Having brushed aside Belize, Mexico will face Honduras, Jamaica and probably Canada in the group stage. A further group stage will then decide the three teams to qualify directly for the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, with the fourth placed side pitted against the fifth-placed nation in the South American qualifiers for the final ticket.