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Ireland book US friendly against Mexico ahead of crucial World Cup qualifier

The game will take place on 1 June at the MetLife Stadium.

Ireland will play Mexico prior to their vital World Cup qualifier with Austria.
Ireland will play Mexico prior to their vital World Cup qualifier with Austria.
Image: John Walton

IRELAND WILL FACE Mexico in a summer friendly in the US, it has been confirmed.

The game will take place on 1 June at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, with Ireland hosting Uruguay in another friendly at the Aviva Stadium three days later.

Both games will serve as important preparation for the Boys in Green’s crucial World Cup qualifier on 11 June against Austria.

The match, which is expected to attract a sizeable proportion of the Mexican population based on the east coast of the US, will be the first time Ireland have played at the venue since losing 5-1 in a 2014 friendly against Portugal.

Ireland have previously played in the US on a number of occasions, including in end-of-season tours during 1992, 1996 and 2000.

It is the fifth time in total that Ireland have played Mexico, who are currently ranked 17th in the world and who will be preparing for some important World Cup qualifiers as well as the Confederations Cup.

The most notable of the sides’ previous clashes came at the USA 1994 World Cup, when the Mexicans beat Jack Charlton’s Irish side 2-1 in Orlando, Florida. And the upcoming fixture has one other connection with that tournament — the Giants Stadium, in which Ireland famously beat Italy 1-0, was closed to allow for the opening of the MetLife Stadium, where this summer’s clash against Juan Carlos Osorio’s side will be held.

“This is a brilliant match for us in our preparation for our World Cup qualifier against Austria,” said manager Martin O’Neil said in a statement following the announcement.

Mexico in the United States couldn’t be much tougher but it’s exactly what we want. We have another game against Uruguay a few days later at the Aviva Stadium before the Austria game the following week.

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“The players who may not have played for a while after their club season has ended will, I’m sure, relish the opportunity to play against such quality opposition.”

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