Mexico youngsters give Aguirre hope

MEXICO CITY - The Dos Santos brothers Giovani and Jonathan showed up well in a young Mexico attack fielded by coach Javier Aguirre in their World Cup warm-up victory over fellow finalists New Zealand.

Arsenal's Carlos Vela, who scored one of the goals in Wednesday's 2-0 win at the Pasadena Rose Bowl, also staked a strong claim for a place in Aguirre's World Cup squad.

Vela came on in the second half and scored a fine goal but had to come off 10 minutes before the end with a right thigh muscle problem.

Aguirre is expected to name his provisional 23-man squad as early as the last week in March for a tough group that includes hosts South Africa, France and Uruguay at the June 11-July 11 finals.

Youngsters could feature prominently after they showed Aguirre he could count on them to give the team a dynamic the older players were at pains to provide.

The first half was a stalemate but after Vela and Guadalajara striker Javier Hernandez came on, New Zealand struggled to contain the Mexicans.

Midfielder Jonathan dos Santos, at 19 the younger brother who plays for Barcelona, hit the crossbar with a fine shot in the first half.

Giovani dos Santos, on loan to Galatasaray from Tottenham Hotspur, generated most of the danger for New Zealand with his attacks down the right corridor.

Hernandez, top scorer in the Clausura championship averaging a goal a game, headed Mexico into the lead from a cross by PSV Eindhoven's Carlos Salcido and Vela added the second with a shot past keeper Glen Moss after beating two defenders.

Tony Lochhead in defence and Shane Schmeltz up front stood out for the New Zealand, who are going to their second World Cup after playing at Spain 82 and meet holders Italy, Paraguay and Slovakia in Group F.