Mexico is in search of their second Toulon Tournament title and are one game away from reaching the final. Oddly enough, they will play Turkey, the country that Mexico beat in 2012 to get their only Toulon tournament title. Mexico got the top spot in Group A and are arguably the favorites to win. But Mexico will need to improve from their last performance against China, which showed signs of exhaustion and needed Mexico to come back from a goal down.
Mexico went into this competition as one of the top candidates to take the title. Mexico sent one of the strongest team in years, with top players like Jonathan Gonzalez and Cesar Montes from Monterrey, Diego Lainez and Carlos Vargas from America and Uriel Antuna from Groningen. Mexico started with a crushing win against Qatar (4-1) and looked like the better team against England, despite only getting a scoreless draw. Mexico then went to the third game looking to clinch the spot and did enough to beat China 3-1. At times, however. El Tri were outplayed by the very inferior team. The main concern was that the team looked physically tired and it could be because Mexico’s coach Marco Antonio Ruiz decided to play with basically the same starting XI in all 3 games. With that in mind, Mexico will get a huge benefit from having a few extra days of rest. Ruiz’s side last played. On the other hand, Turkey needed to go all out to beat Portugal on Sunday and squeak by Canada to clinch their Semifinal spot. They will be the team with the least rest from all the teams in the final four.
Mexico can no doubt be considered the favorite to win this game but it will still be tough. Turkey is a resilient team and will probably be Mexico’s toughest match since the England game. While Mexico did mostly dominate all their games, the finishing was awful, (something the senior team knows about) which is a real worry against Turkey. Mexico should try to avoid penalties at all cost, although goalkeeper Jose Hernandez proved to be adept at them in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship where he stopped 2. All things considered, if Mexico play to their potential, they should do enough to get to another final.
Date: Friday, June 6
Time: 8:00am Pacific, 10:00am Central, 11:00am Eastern
Venue: Stade de Lattre-de-Tassigny, Aubagne, France
TV: beIN SPORTS (US - English), BeIn SPORTS en Español (US - Spanish), ESPN3 (Mexico), TVC Deportes (Mexico)