Mexico to play road World Cup qualifier against Guyana in Houston

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Mexico to play road World Cup qualifier against Guyana in Houston
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Mexico to play road World Cup qualifier against Guyana in Houston

Mexico's road World Cup qualifier this month will be played on United States soil, but El Tri won't be playing Jurgen Klinsmann's U.S. squad in a rematch of August's friendly.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Guyana sold the hosting rights for the Oct. 12 World Cup qualifier, and BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston will be the destination for the match between the two sides after stadium officials negotiated a deal with the match promoters. A couple of days ago, the Mexican federation had announced that the match would be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, but that no longer appears to be the case.

Mexico has nothing to play for after clinching a place in CONCACAF's final qualifying round by going 4-0-0 in Group B play -- including a 3-1 victory over last-place Guyana on June 8 in Mexico City -- but El Tri will have a decided advantage in the stands for the "away match" considering Houston's Mexican-American population.

"Any time you get a chance to host a World Cup qualifier, it's a big deal," BBVA Compass Stadium general manager Doug Hall told The Chronicle. "Certainly adding Mexico to it takes it to another level. We expect to be sold out in fairly short order."

Mexico has traditionally drawn large crowds in Houston, playing Belize in a World Cup qualifier at Reliant Stadium in 2008 under similar circumstances, after the Belize federation hosted that match on U.S. soil. Mexico also played Honduras in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals in front of more than 70,000 at Reliant Stadium, and Mexican star Javier Hernandez was the big draw in the 2010 MLS All-Star Game between MLS and Manchester United at Reliant Stadium that also drew more than 70,000 fans.

The match against Guyana will be El Tri's first visit to the new soccer-specific venue in Houston.

After the Oct. 12 match against Guyana, Mexico will return home to face El Salvador in the final match of the round on Oct. 16 at Estadio Corona in Torreon.

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