Ten years ago in the U-17 World Cup held in Peru, Mexico shocked the youth footballing world by collecting their first Youth World Cup when it beat favorites Brazil 3-0 in the Final. On the road to their historic championship, they also beat The Netherlands 4-0 in the semifinals and Costa Rica 3-1 in the quarterfinals. Players out of the group like Hector Moreno, Carlos Vela, and Giovani Dos Santos now make up part of the base of the current national team.
Six years later, when Mexico hosted the youth tournament, another run to the championship took place as Mexico was able to claim their second title, this time on home soil as they beat Uruguay in the finals in front of almost 100,000 fans inside the historic Estadio Azteca.
Two years ago in the United Arab Emirates, Mexico again would make a deep run in the U-17 World Cup making it all the way to the finals, only lose to Nigeria, the team that beat them in the opening game of the tournament.
There are expectations now for Mexico entering the tournament, not only to do well, but to potentially make a run at the cup. In their opening match, they faced off against one of South America’s best when they took on Argentina, who played a virtual home game because the tournament is held in Chile.
From the get go, the game was a fiery affair with both teams knowing the importance of getting off to a good start in what is a very tough Group C with Australia and Germany also in the group. With both teams coming out to attack, it lead to some early chances with Argentina getting the first chance from Tomas Conechny, which he wasn’t able to convert.
Only ten minutes from the start, it was Mexico who took advantage off some quick ball movement and exploited the space left behind the Argentine defense with Claudio Zamudio assisting Kevin Magana, who was able to easily finish his chance to give El Tri the lead.
As the game wore on, Mexico’s possession based play, quick passing, and attack forced Argentina to sit back and counter the aggressive Mexican side. After half time though, Argentina started to gain more control of the game, which lead to a back and forth encounter. Both teams were able to create chances that could have either lead to a tying goal, or given Mexico an extended lead. With 13 minutes left to play, Eduardo Aguirre was brought down in the box for Mexico and Francisco Venegas sank the PK to give Mexico the 2-0 lead.
The game came down to the ability of Mexico finishing in front of goal and Argentina not being able to do the same. Earlier in the day, Germany got their World Cup to a fine start as they beat Australia 4-1 in both of the team’s opening match, led by Johannes Eggestein’s brace.
In the second day of action for Group C, Mexico faces Australia while Argentina will need to bounce back against Germany.