Mexico under-20 1-3 France under-20: Host nation enjoy comfortable win despite nightmare start

A talented French side overcame an early 1-0 deficit in their opening game at this summer's Toulon Tournament.

Mexico under-20 1-3 France under-20: Host nation enjoy comfortable win despite nightmare start
Mexico saw their chances of winning Group A hurt by full time. (Photo: La Afición)
Mexico under-20
1 3
France under-20
Mexico under-20: Lajud; Gutierrez, Guzman, Lopez, Silva; Govea, Gonzalez (Cota 76'), Rivas (Garcia 79'); Fierro, Jaimes (Álvarez 41'), Lorona.
France under-20: Escales; Niakhate (Confais 63'), Diakhaby, Batubinsika, Fulgini; Kemen (Bamba 53'), Kilic (Lamonge 78'), Konaté, Pereira de Sa (D'Arpino 53'); Mousset, Guirassy.
SCORE: 1-0, González 4'. 1-1, Guirassy 9'. 1-2, Batubinsika 36'. 1-3, Guirassy 58'.
REFEREE: Jonathan Lardot (BEL). Booked: D'Arpino 66', Silva 76'. Sent off: Lopez 56'.

France's under-20s gave the home crowd the result they were hoping for on Wednesday night, beating Mexico in their opening game in the Toulon Tournament.

Things didn't start brilliantly for them, with Alfonso González giving Mexico a fourth minute lead, but it didn't take long for the home nation to respond as Sehrou Guirassy coolly found an equaliser just five minutes later.

The French asserted themselves from there on out; taking total control of the game and putting themselves into the lead before half time through Dylan Batubinsika's well-placed header.

Mexico did threaten after conceding, but not for long, with them to be reduced to 10 before the hour mark. Luis López, who was at fault for France's first goal, was the man to hack down Guirassy as he raced clean through on goal.

Giving away a penalty as well as hindering his side numerically, López paid the ultimate price for his challenge as Guirassy smashed in the resulting spot-kick and gave his side a comfortable two-goal cushion - one that proved enough for the three points.

Quality from the word go

The game expected to produce the group's winner, this was a thriller from the off, with two goals coming in the first 10 minutes.

An experienced Mexican side were taking on the young and skilful French hosts, the two expected to finish at the top of Group A, and they lived up to the billing.

With less than four minutes gone, González had the South Americans in the lead, capitalising on some poor defending from a free-kick to pick up the loose ball and fire it into the far bottom corner of the goal - with the help of a slight deflection.

However, the talented visitors were to be undone by poor defending of their own on nine minutes, surrendering their lead in the process. López misjudged a long ball forward and he was made to pay, with Guirassy on hand to bring it down well, turn and equalise, slotting the ball through the legs of the onrushing Gibran Lajud.

Featuring two very talented sides, the difference in quality between this and the tournament's opener - a 1-0 win for the Czech Republic against Mali - was immediately apparent.

Mexico's early goal meant little in the end. (Photo: Mexsport)
Mexico's early goal meant little in the end. (Photo: Mexsport)

France headed into a deserved lead

Every time the two went forward, they posed a threat, but they couldn't produce the end product to match that for the rest of the half.

Mexico had to endure something of a French onslaught after the hosts equalised, with the scoreline looking sure to change to 2-1 at some point before the break, but the South Americans rode it well without conceding any real chances.

Despite starting the game on the front foot and earning a lead to match, they watched their opponents assume the dominant role in the affair after that.

With just four minutes remaining in the half, France finally got the second goal that their possession and pressure had deserved - Batubinsika heading in Samed Kilic's splendid delivery to put his side into the lead for the first time.

Mexico tried to respond before the interval, with Carlos Fierro seeing his cross headed over by Ulises Rivas, but France had earned the right to be ahead at half time and so they were.

Role change sees Mexico on top, only for them to capitulate

The tables turned after the break - France were suddenly under pressure as Mexico threw everything at them, in search of an equaliser.

It looked like they were to have an early one in the half when Daniel Álvarez brilliantly picked out Luis Loroña, but Angelo Fulgini produced a sensational block in the area when the striker had a clear sight of goal.

Roli Pereira de Sa had a rare shot at goal at the other end but Lajud parried well, with the edge having gone from the hosts' performance as the former himself made way as part of a double change, made to shake things up, moments later.

It certainly worked too, as minutes later the French had extended their lead. It was Guirassy on target again, this time from the spot after López hacked him down through on goal, receiving a red card for his troubles and also conceding a penalty.

Guirassy thumped it goalwards, with the effort crashing against the underside of the bar and bouncing back out for him to head in - though the linesman flagged for a goal from his initial attempt anyway.

Comfortable ending after a nightmare start

France were cruising by this point, but really should have made that show in the scoreline.

Playing 25 minutes against a side down to 10, they created surprising little in the rest of the game.

Guirassy should have scored another as we entered the final knockings of the encounter, carving his way through the Mexican defence as easily as a knife does through butter. However, after rounding the goalkeeper, he opted to selflessly square to Jonathan Bamba, and the pass was inaccurate as the chance went by.

Fortunately it wasn't a costly decision by the goal-scorer, with France able to record a comfortable win and three points to match, getting an early advantage over a Mexican side expected to be their best challenge for top spot in the group.