Five Hyundai A-League stars were involved in New Zealand’s international friendly over the weekend, as the All Whites were edged 2-1 by Mexico in front of over 40,000 fans at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium in the US.
Melbourne Victory’s Marco Rojas and Wellington Phoenix’s Michael McGlinchey and Kosta Barbarouses all started the clash, while defenders Andrew Durante and Matthew Ridenton were both late substitutes.
Returning Mexico forward Giovani Dos Santos opened the scoring from the penalty spot, with Barbarouses close to levelling shortly after but he was correctly ruled offside.
The All Whites would equalise to start the second half as Rojas got on the end of a Deklan Wynne cross to make it 1-1.
Mexico regained the lead in the 56th minute however, as a fine passing move led to Oribe Peralta setting up Fabian for his first international goal since 2014.
It proved to be the winner but the All Whites will take plenty of positives from the match given the world no.15 had defeated them 9-3 on aggregate in their 2014 World Cup qualifying play-off.
Fresh from winning the OFC Nations Cup, New Zealand's defeat was their first since March 2015. They will next play USA on Tuesday.