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Mexico mulling Chile for final pre-WCup friendly


In May, the Mexican national team will bid farewell to its supporters before what could be a sold-out Estadio Azteca, and the opponent might be another World Cup-bound nation.

Mexican Football Federation president Justino Compean said FMF officials met with their Chilean counterparts to discuss the possibility of playing a friendly ahead of South Africa 2010, and it may lead the Chile's first match in Mexico since 2001.

"It could be," Compean told Reforma when asked if Chile would serve as the farewell match opponent. "We will discuss that. We had a meeting with [Chilean federation president] Harold [Mayne-Nicholls], Nestor [de la Torre] and myself, and obviously we have several dates in mind. Everything is being discussed. It's a bit of a puzzle, though, as we have to find the right times."

Chile last played in Mexico in 2001, a friendly in Monterrey won by Mexico by 1-0. Chile and Mexico, however, have had a long history of playing one another and have met four times in the Copa America, several other times in tournaments in the middle of the previous century and once in the World Cup, in the inaugural edition in 1930.

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Their last encounter was a 1-0 Chile win over El Tri in Los Angeles in 2008. Unlike the teams that took the field that day, this match would likely feature many potential World Cup players. For that reason, the two managers are interested in facing one another.

"Harold is willing because it interests him," Compean said. "Javier Aguirre is interested in Chile just like Mr. Marcelo Bielsa is interested in Mexico."

Mexico has yet to confirm any World Cup friendlies but rumored matches or games confirmed by other federations include El Salvador on Feb. 24, New Zealand on March 3 and the Netherlands on May 26.

Next week, the FMF and American-based marketing company Soccer United Marketing are expected to announce times, dates and opponents for Mexico's five U.S.-based friendlies. The match against the Netherlands would be played in Austria.