Mexico's Ochoa, Perez battling to start - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mexico's Ochoa, Perez battling to start

07/06/2010 08:49:15 AM Comments (0)

There is stiff competition for the Mexico goalkeeper's job at the World Cup, with Guillermo Ochoa and Oscar Perez battling to start the tournament opener on Friday against South Africa.

Coach Javier Aguirre says he knows who will be in his starting lineup, but he has yet to talk about it with reporters.

Ochoa, 24, has been the starter since Aguirre took over the team 14 months ago after Sven-Goran Eriksson was fired. But in two recent friendlies against England and Italy, the 37-year-old Perez was in goal.

"I have never lost hope," said Perez, who started for Mexico at the 2002 World Cup when Aguirre was also the coach.

"I came to the team with the hope of being able to play in the World Cup."

Perez was also a backup in Mexico's 1998 World Cup team.

Ochoa, who was a reserve in the 2006 squad, has played less in the last few friendlies with Perez getting more playing time. He had a poor game against North Korea, which seemed to open the door for Perez.

"These are decisions for the coach," Ochoa said.

"One never knows who is going to play. You don't know until the line ups come out that day."

The third 'keeper is Luis Michel, who seems unlikely to play at the World Cup unless there are injuries.

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