Mexico played some of their best football in the tournament but it wasn't enough to overcome bad lapses of play as they lost to England 1-0 to end their participation in the U-20 World Cup. Dominic Solanke scored the only goal of the game as England played better for key stretches of the match to be the deserved winner.
The first half started with total dominance from England. They had complete control of the ball and looked a lot faster, as they went through Mexico's midfield easily. Still, as time progressed, Mexico became more comfortable with the ball and England started to falter. Suddenly, Mexico started to gain control of the match.
Mexico had a great chance wasted when Uriel Antuna went past his defender and crossed it to a wide open Pablo Yrizar, who failed to control the ball and missed his chance. After a close shot from Engand, Yrizar then had a long range shot saved by the English keeper.
The second half was a repeat of the start of the first, with this time England taking advantage. English attacker Solanke was able to pass right through the middle of Mexico's defense to score. This stretch of play was Mexico's worst as England hit the post and then Mexican defenders had to clear a ball off the line after a scramble in the area.
After Mexico survived this stretch of play, they suddenly played their best so far in the tournament. A badly cleared free kick fell to Antuna, who had a great shot saved by the keeper. Then a scramble in the area fell to defender Juan Aguayo, who came closest to scoring.
Mexico looked to have been thrown a life line when Josh Onomah got a second yellow card to put England down a man. Mexico then went all out in attack and Chima Ruiz substituted in Ronaldo Cisneros, Kevin Lara and Diego Aguilar. Unfortunately, the strategy then consisted of sending crosses into the area, where the taller English defenders easily cleared the balls. To make matters worse, a couple of great English counter attacks could have ended the game for England and keeper Abraham Romero had to make a great save. In the end, even with the man advantage, Mexico wasn't able to create the dangerous plays they had done minutes before and Mexico were eliminated.
Mexico played their best game of the competition, but it was too little too late. In the end, against England, Mexico punched above their weight and above the play they had shown in the tournament. The end result was a terrible group stage in which they were lucky to qualify, followed by a much improved knockout stage performance that unfortunately came too late to make the team a contender for a title. Youth attention will now be pointed towards the U-17 World Cup in India where Mexico looks to have a much better team and a history of being a world powerhouse in that age category.