Mexico and Honduras will face each other on Thursday to determine the winner of Group A of the U-20 CONCACAF Championship. Both teams won their first two games and thus are already qualified to the next round. Mexico has an 8+ goal differential against Honduras’s + 4, so a draw will be enough to give the group to Mexico. Both sides will want to win the group, although the strange results in other groups makes it tough to determine which is a better result.
Mexico has been by far the best team in this tournament. While they started slow against Antigua and Barbuda, it was only scoring wise. The fact they only scored three goals was seen as the problem because their finishing was off, but against Canada, they played one of the best games in recent tournaments of any kind. Canada, a better team than many in this competition, was totally dominated and got beaten 5-0 by Mexico. El Tri played almost a perfect game, except for some shaky play from the goalkeeper that gifted some opportunities to Canada. Still, so far it's clear that Mexico has been the best team.
Honduras could have a strong case, along with Panama, to be considered the second best team in this tournament. While it's true that their game against Canada was tough, they still ended up winning it. Against Antigua and Barbuda, they were the clearly better team, but unlike Mexico, they did have trouble offensively and even got scored on. However, they have shown to be better than their rivals in both games and are always a tough match for Mexico at any level.
With both teams qualified to the next round and with teams playing every three days, this match could see a lot of possible changes in the starting lineups. If anything, this match could determine the best of their B teams. Also, the results in other groups, the U.S. loss and the fact that Costa Rica has struggled, could also motivate both teams to play it safe, although Mexico's history in CONCACAF almost requires Mexico to always go for the win. The fact they only need a draw and that in a short tournament you need to rest and look out for the fitness of your players, makes it a tough situation for both teams and might diminish the chances to see a great game. Still, while Honduras is tough, if both teams play with similar lineups, Mexico should be the favorite for this game.
Date: Thursday, February 23
Time: 3:00 PM Pacific, 5:00 PM Central, 6:00 PM Eastern
Venue: Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Aymá, San Jose, Costa Rica
Television: United States - Univision Deportes Network