Mexico made a statement as they dominated El Salvador from start to finish in a 6-0 route in their opening game of the CONCACAF U-17 Championship.
With a marvelous game by Ian Jairo Torres, Mexico took a commanding 4-0 lead to halftime, as El Salvador showed not to be at any level close to Mexico, especially physically. El Salvador coach Erick Dawson burned through all three substitutions when it was clear that El Salvador was suffering physically. As a result, El Salvador went down to eight players after three cramped out. Mexico then put their foot off the pedal to conserve energy nd will now face a United States team that also crushed their opposition, Jamaica, 5-0.
Mexico started the first half in style and a great play by Jairo Torres was crossed into the area. Jesus Perez connected with the ball but it bounced off the post just for Kevin Menjivar to score into his own net 40 seconds in.
After the first goal, El Salvador played well and for the first time in the game were on par with El Tri, although Roberto de La Rosa had a horrible miss for Mexico after a cross by Torres.
Finally, off a free kick, Luis Olivas was able to head in the second goal after out-jumping the Salvadorean defenders.
The game continued and it became clear that El Salvador wasn't physically fit enough to contain Mexico. Torres kept dominating his space and then made a cross that the keeper couldn't hold, as Daniel Perez scored off the rebound for the 3-0. Another Torres cross was then sent into his own net by defender Giovanni Avila, leaving the score 4-0 in favor of Mexico at the break.
The start to the second half was a carbon copy of Mexico’s first half play, as they once again took advantage of El Salvador's lousy start to make a play that was sent to the area and cleared into Daniel Lopez, who made a great shot to score the 5-0.
After the score, Mexico kept dominating but started to slow down a little. It was during this time that El Salvador's coach made the second and third substitution, eventhough it was clear that El Salvador was suffering physically. Almost immediately after that, El Salvador players started cramping up. After going down to 10 men because of this, a header off a corner by Roberto de la Rosa was headed in by Alan Maeda for the 6-0.
Two more El Salvador players then had to leave with cramps, leaving the total number of El Salvador players on the field to eight. By then, Mexico had taken the foot off the pedal, and with the hot conditions of the field, instead opted to rest up to prepare for Wednesday’s game against the toughest team in the tournament.
This win is a great start for Mexico. Besides the United States, no team showed the talent that Mexico showed, so qualification might be favored for the U-17 team. They will now face the United States on Wednesday, which will be the toughest rival of the group, but knowing El Salvador and Jamaica will face a do or die game that same day.