Mexico qualified to the second round of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship after winning the group by defeating Aruba 10-0 in their final match of the group stage. Mexico ended tied in points with Jamaica at 13 but went through on goal difference after ending with +29 in comparison to Jamaica’s +21. While Mexico came into the game with a +9 goal advantage over Jamaica, it was almost all gone at game time because Jamaica was leading Saint Martin 8-0 (the Jamaica-Saint Martin game started 1 hour earlier). But Mexico calmly collected itself and were able to completely dominated and rush to a 6-0 lead at halftime. With the 10-0, Mexico went through to the second round where it will be in Group B along with El Salvador and Panama. The top two teams of the group qualify to the U-20 World Cup, while the group winner play in the final.
After Mexico tied Jamaica in their group stage match, the qualification would fall to goal differential. Mexico knew this coming into the Aruba match and from the start they went in all out attack. Coach Diego Ramirez went on with the striker partnership of Jose Juan Macias and Daniel Lopez and with Misael Dominguez creating the plays.
It was Dominguez who started making the great plays which eventually opened the goal scoring. Dominguez went past the Aruban defenders and sent a pass through the Aruba defense and past the goalkeeper, for Macias to tap in the 1-0.
Before the game had reached 15 minutes, Macias had his second goal after getting to head a cross for the 2-0. The team kept with the continuous attacks and after Aruba’s goalkeeper failed to hold on to a shot, Daniel Lopez was there for the rebound and the 3-0.
Mexico kept going all out on offense and at times Aruba took advantage of the defenders pushing up to create several runs that the Mexican defenders had to desperately clear.
Mexico, though, scored their fourth with a play that they had been working on since the Grenada match, a cross from the left side that Daniel Lopez sent to the back of the net.
A couple of minutes later, Lopez made a great play and shot that hit the post and stopped him from having a hat-trick.
On the other hand, JJ Macias was able to get his hat-trick after a Dominguez shot was rebounded by the Aruban goalkeeper straight to him. His shot was also blocked by the keeper but he was able to head that rebound into the goal for his third and Mexico’s fifth. T
hen prior to halftime, a great play and shot by Macias gave Mexico the 6-0 and his fourth goal to place him on top of the scoring table with 10 goals.
Mexico came into the second half with the Jamaica vs Saint Martin game over. Jamaica winning with a 11-0 score meant that after Mexico’s six goals in the first half, they were through to the second round if they held on and didn’t allow Aruba to cut into their goal differential.
Maybe the lack of pressure and also the lowering of the heat in Bradenton, made Mexico a much calmer team in the second half. Mexico being looser didn’t stop them from continuing to attack and completely dominating the game, which continued to have Aruba under siege. Misael Dominguez made a great run and was finally able to score in the tournament to give Mexico the 7-0 lead. Defender Efrain Orona made a long hard cross that Diego Hernandez stuck his head into and deflected into the goal for his second goal of the tournament and the 8-0. Mexico then made one of the better goals of the game when after stealing a ball, they combined between three players and Alexis Gutierrez was able to finish with a left footed shot for the 9-0. Finally after a free kick, a Mexican player headed it back and the Aruba defense lost their marking, allowing Orona to score with a left footed volley for the 10-0. Mexico kept at it and could have scored an eleventh, but the game finished with the 10-0 and the ticket to the next round.
Mexico’s qualification wasn’t very smooth. While they dominated in all four of their victories, their tie to Jamaica meant that qualification wasn’t set until the final game. Still, Mexico will benefit from having a couple of days rest instead of the one day rest in the group stages, although the difficulty of the rivals is set to improve a lot in the second round. Mexico will have to be at their best, and the time off will definitely help them plan better for the upcoming games and the opportunity to officially qualify to the U-20 World Cup in Poland.