But the midfield cannot continue to just lump the ball forward. That is suicide in these conditions.
Wood has had a few speculative long range shots, but the All Whites have not really looked like scoring. Be interesting to see if Herbert changes the game plan early in the half.
Very strange for mine to see Lochhead on set pieces given he is so short on match practice. As noted on Twitter by a couple of people, McGlinchey takes them weekly for Central Coast and he should be doing it.
Players are making their way back out for the second half now. Sounds like a Mexican party in the stands.
I'm loosely inclined to agree with Dale (below here), the strategy is roughly what the All Whites needed to do. The goals have come down to weak marking from a corner and IMO a Moss error in goal. They still need to show more through the middle and Christie has brought simply nothing to this game (no surprises). Some little things have been poor from NZ though and Herbert must be accountable for that
NZ with the kick off and it goes back to Vicelich who pumps one forward toward Wood.
Looks like a slight change of shape with Brockie moved higher up the park to play alongside Wood.
Wood breaks for NZ down the left hand side. He wriggles his way free from his marker and blazes a shot just over the bar. Encouraging start for the Kiwis.
If you needed definitive proof that Leo Bertos isn't a right back, well, there it was. He was not even close to being in position there.
Bertos was caught out of position by a sublime diagonal ball from the back for Mexico. Layun broke down the left flank and cut the ball back for Peralta who tapped home from six yards.
Well, worst possible start for the Kiwis. Now their resolve will be tested. This could be an uncomfortably long 40 minutes.
Mexico look like they may be targetting the Kiwis' right hand side. Three of their opening attacks in the second half have gone that way.
Tommy Smith deflects a cross out for a corner. Pressure keeps mounting.
Montes receives a short corner and rifles the ball over the bar from the edge of the box.
Sub for NZ. Chris James comes on for Christie.
Coaching a side to be attacking and come back from a deficit in the second leg will also go against every coaching fiber in Ricki Herbert's DNA, which doesn't help for the 2nd leg
"It's not head tennis, get the ball down," says Steve Sumner. I tend to agree.
NZ put together 8 or 9 passes, their longest period of possession in the match. James wins a free kick 40 yards out.
Useless Chris James info: (I may have mentioned this before). I went to Naenae Intermediate with him for a year in 1999 and he played for the school's 1st XV as a fullback because he was the only kid in form two - or year 8 - who could kick sideline conversions.
Mexico break quickly on the counter attack and Vicelich commits a professional foul to stop the attack. Vicelich has been class today and that tackle prevented a probable fourth Mexican goal.
Rojas is on now, replacing Jeremy Brockie.
Looks like the Kiwis are going to try and play now.
Vintage Herbert sub: When down 3-0 he brings on an attacker for another attacker. Ahhh, how about remove a defender?
30 minutes to go. NZ have James and Rojas on the park now who are ball players. They have already started to look more positive.
James sends an inventive pass through for Barbarouses and the Mexican defender clears. NZ looking positive again.
This time Rojas runs at the defence. He is brought down legally by a desperate Mexican tackle. NZ have been the better side over the last five minutes.
Mexico have put one foot in the World Cup finals. Actually they have (bar a miracle) put two feet in the finals.
The All Whites showed patches of potential in the second half, but were ultimately totally outclassed by the Mexicans.
Two goals from set pieces is not good enough. That was supposed to be our strength?
Ivan Vicelich and Leo Bertos will both miss the Wellington leg having picked up yellow cards.
Final thoughts: Herbert's long-standing loyalty to a couple of his warriors proved costly. Lochhead, Christie and Bertos weren't up to it among others. The AWs looked better when they rang the changes but by then Mexico had a 3-0 lead and had clearly nodded off slightly. Time for a teamsheet overhaul next Wednesday
Thanks everyone for joining us in today's blog. We hope you have enjoyed our coverage. Make sure you hang around for Michael Burgess' match report of all the action which will be online very shortly.
Thanks a lot for following, guys and all the comments; enjoy the home leg.
Chris Wood is also out for Wednesday's home leg. Herbert will be forced to shuffle the pack.