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By ESPN Staff
May 6, 2006

Mexico seal comfortable win in World Cup warm-up

PASADENA, California, May 5 (Reuters) - A second-half penalty by striker Omar Bravo earned Mexico a comfortable 1-0 win over Venezuela in a World Cup warm-up match at the Rosebowl on Friday.

Bravo beat Venezuela goalkeeper Renny Vega in the 58th minute after fellow striker Jesus Arellano had been brought down as he ran on to a well-timed pass from midfielder Antonio Naelson.

Mexico, whose best World Cup performances were quarter-final appearances at the 1970 and 1986 events they hosted, dominated a match that attracted a crowd of 58,147.

The closest Venezuela came to scoring was in the 71st minute when a close-range shot from midfielder Jesus Gomez was superbly saved by diving goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez.

Mexico, who play Iran in Nuremberg in their opening Group D match at the World Cup finals on June 11, ended their U.S. tour with four wins and one defeat.

Their victories came against Norway, Ghana, Paraguay and Venezuela with the sole loss inflicted by South Korea.

The Mexicans have two more warm-up matches before their World Cup campaign. They play the Democratic Republic of Congo at the Aztec Stadium in Mexico City on May 12 and France in the Netherlands on May 27.

Mexico were chosen as one of the eight seeds for the World Cup finals in Germany, where they will also face Euro 2004 finalists Portugal and Angola in the group stage.

They are seen as potential dark horses after beating Brazil at the Confederations Cup, although their recent form against European sides under coach Ricardo La Volpe has been poor.