Mexico will face Costa Rica on Friday in a match that will decide which team goes to the final of the CONCACAF U-17 Championship. Mexico arrive needing a victory to get there, while Costa Rica only needs a draw. Both teams qualified to the U-17 World Cup after their respective victories over host team Panama but will be looking for the opportunity to get to the final and get seeded in India. The winner should play the United States, unless Cuba scores a massive upset.
The bad news for Mexico is they didn't impress in their 1-0 victory over Panama. They will also have the disadvantage of having played on Wednesday, as opposed to Costa Rica, who played on Monday. Still, they will be reenergized from booking their ticket to the World Cup and should have a pressure lifted off them after accomplishing their goal. Also, while their victory over Panama might have been arguably one of their worst of the tournament, they looked a lot better than Costa Rica did against them. Mexico looks to be the more talented team, and should the game be more open, they should have the edge.
While Mexico is a U-17 World Powerhouse, with the goal of once again lifting the title, Costa Rica should be happy with just qualifying. Everything else should be gravy for them. What little pressure exists in this match should be going on Mexico.
With that in mind, El Tri still look to be the better team. If they play to their strength, the potential rematch with the US can be a reality.
Date: Friday, May 5
Time: 6:00 PM Pacific, 8:00 PM Central, 9:00 PM Eastern
Venue: Estadio Maracana, Panama City, Panama
Television: Univision Deportes Network (US), TVC Deportes (Mexico)