Czech Republic maintained their 100% record in the 2016 Toulon Tournament with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Mexico.
Dominik Preisler and Matej Pulkrab both struck early on to put them into a comfortable position.
Jordan Silva replied in the second half for Mexico, but they couldn't quite grab a second and slipped to their second straight defeat.
Czechs strike twice in quick succession to lead at the break
The Czech Republic started off strongly and looked much the better side in the early stages. They kept to the same tactic of short corners and this seemed to unnerve the Mexicans, who struggled to deal with the whipped delivery from dead-ball situations. That early pressure was rewarded when Preisler escaped the clutches of the Mexico defence and ran onto a clever through ball. The forward made the chance count, too, as he slotted past the oncoming goalkeeper.
One became two just four minutes later, as the much-fancied Mexicans looked to be crumbling. Good work down the left-hand side from Denis Granecny allowed him to work some space to cross, and that he did. The ball was laid on a plate for the incoming Pulkrab to bullet the ball past Raul Gudino with a header.
Mexico finally settled in the game but service and shots were hard to come by, with Ludek Vejmola acting as a mere spectator for the first period. Their best chance came in the final minute as a cross was headed out only as far as Rosario Cota, and his shot swerved just over the bar. Aside from that, it was a half to forget for Mexico.
Mexico make Czechs work for their win
Mexico made two changes at half time as Carlos Guzman and Arturo Gonzalez came off the bench. The latter was involved immediately and managed to carve out a promising opening, only to see the resulting shot bravely blocked by Lukas Hulka. They were struggling for ideas after that, however, and the Czech defence stood firm.
Carlos Fierro was also called upon in a bid to spark some sort of comeback and he did just that. He looked lively straight from the off and had a point-blank volley brilliantly kept out by Vejmola. The 'keeper was at fault for Mexico's goal a moment later, however. He misjudged a corner and the ball bobbled up kindly for Silva to slam home.
The Czechs had their feathers ruffled and struggled to contain a fiery Mexican side that just kept coming forward. The trailing team couldn't quite force a way through, with Patrizio Stronati putting in a particularly impressive performance, including a goal-line clearance at the death. The game finished 2-1 and the victors are most definitely growing into this tournament; Mexico looked a far from the side that they normally are at youth tournaments.