Mexico will start their U-17 World Cup adventure on Sunday when they face Iraq on Sunday in Kolkata. Mexico is looking to continue their great play in the U-17 World Cup, an age category where Mexico has become a powerhouse. They not only won two U-17 World Cups (2005,2011) but have been to the semifinals for three straight tournaments. They are also looking for a repeat from the 2013 U-17 World Cup where they defeated Iraq 3-1 enroute to second place finish. Mexico is in what many believe is the group of death, along with Iraq, England and Chile. Still, Mexico needs to rise to the occasion with a team that offensively is seen as one of the candidates to win it all.
Mexico will face a tough challenge all through the competition, and although they were seeded, they still got a tough group along with Iraq. On paper this looks like the easier of the games of the group stage but that means Mexico will need to hit the ground running. A loss would really hurt the team, although in this competition the top four third placed teams qualify to the second round.
Mexico looks to be favored because offensively it has one of their best lineups but there are doubts after their last camp before the competition in Spain finished with one draw and three losses. That said, not only is Mexico a powerhouse, players like Diego Lainez, Ian Torres and Roberto de La Rosa are arguably more talented than those from past Mexico teams that finished second and fourth in the last two tournaments. In addition, coach Mario Arteaga guided a 2015 team that had lower expectations than many teams to a semifinal in 2015.His experience could be valuable in a tournament that has been marred by rain and lack of interest so far. Mexico should be favorite to win but it's a notorious inconsistent age category and they have to come out swinging.
Date: Sunday, October 8
Time: 7:30 AM Pacific, 9:30 AM Central, 10:30 AM Eastern
Venue: Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata, India
Television: Telemundo (US-Spanish), TDN (Mexico), beIN Sports Arabia (Iraq), beIN Sports Arabia 7 HD (Iraq)
Listings via LiveSoccerTV.com.