for this game

Mexico, New Zealand both eye first WWC win

Jul 5, 2011 - 1:35 AM Sinsheim, Germany (Sports Network) - The opening two games of the Women's World Cup for Mexico have offered up dramatically different emotions.

First, there was a 1-1 draw with England that gave El Tri its first-ever point at a World Cup as well as an opportunity to find its way into the knockout round.

But that positive result was followed by a crushing 4-0 defeat to Japan, leaving coach Leonardo Cuellar's team with a slim chance at advancing as they get set to face New Zealand in their final Group B match on Tuesday.

"We have an awful lot to do now to pick ourselves up mentally and physically because this is a very painful defeat for us," Cuellar said following the loss to Japan.

Mexico still has a chance to reach the quarterfinals, but to do so they need a loss by England against Japan in addition to making up a goal difference of five goals in a win over the Kiwis.

New Zealand, like Mexico, has never won a match at the Women's World Cup, and although John Herdman's team may have no chance at advancing after a pair of 2-1 defeats to Japan and England, the boss was very upbeat after the latest setback.

"It was a truly great performance by the girls, and I'm very proud of them," Herdman said after the England defeat. "We held our own against one of the powerhouses of the game for an hour. That isn't the end of our tournament because we still have a game against Mexico. It's about pride, and about New Zealand picking up their first three points at a World Cup."

The Kiwis had never led at the World Cup until a goal from Sarah Gregorius put them ahead 1-0 in the 18th minute against England, so a win over Mexico would be a big step forward.

Mexico will also be eyeing its first World Cup win on Tuesday, and even if they don't advance, it would still go a long way toward erasing the disappointment of the Japan defeat.