Head coach Miguel Herrera (pictured) and Mexico will face Finland in a friendly on October 30, 2013, in San Diego, California. (Photo: Mexsport)
TIJUANA, Mexico – Mexico traveled to San Diego on Monday, two days ahead of its friendly against Finland at Qualcomm Stadium.
The CONCACAF side is using the encounter as preparation for next month’s two-legged Intercontinental Playoff against New Zealand, the winner of which advances to next year’s World Cup.
Since its local league concluded on Saturday and foreign-based players have club commitments, Finland is bringing a roster composed of domestic players to the United States.
Miguel Herrera, Mexico’s new head coach, is excited to face a team with characteristics similar to those of New Zealand.
“The truth is that we like this match a lot,” said the 45-year-old. “Finland has an aerial game very similar to New Zealand, it’s not that they play of equal standing or are at the same level, but they are similar in the air.
“We will try to work hard on that, we have been very repetitive on that aspect.”
Herrera also spoke about Toluca’s 37-year-old attacking midfielder Antonio Naelson Matias (Sinha), called in to replace Lucas Lobos, who is not with the team due to personal reasons.
“[Sinha] is a player that in his club is like fine wine, each year he is better and it is always being said that Sinha will retire but his quality appears to be even better now on the field,” he noted.
In its first test under Herrera, Mexico defeated Liga de Ascenso side Altamira, 4-0, on Saturday in a friendly played at the Mexican Football Federation’s Center of High Performance. Leon’s Luis Montes scored twice, while Club America defender Francisco Rodriguez and Marcos Cruz added one each in a winning effort.