Mexico’s U-17 team closed out their last tour of friendlies before going to Brazil to start their U-17 World Cup campaign. Mexico bounced back from an opening loss against Argentina to win their last two friendlies against New Zealand and Canada. All their games were played in Buenos Aires. Tomorrow, Mexico will be flying to Brasilia, where their camp will be during their participation in the U-17 World Cup that starts Friday.
Mexico arrived last week in Buenos Aires, Argentina where they were going to play 3 friendlies before the World Cup. Their debut was against the host team last Sunday and it ended with one of the worst possible starts as they lost 3-0. According to reports, Argentina totally dominated the team, and if it wasn’t because of several saves by goalkeeper Eduardo Garcia it could have been a scandalous scoreline. Mexico then bounced back and got a win against New Zealand by a score of 2-0. Mexico’s goals were scored by Santiago Muñoz and Jesus Gomez. On Saturday, Mexico had their final friendly and won by a score of 2-1 against Canada. Mexico’s goals were scored by Josue Martinez and Efrain Alvarez.
After revealing his World Cup roster, coach Marco Antonio Ruiz had declared that Mexico had the goal of finishing in the top four teams. While Mexico was a powerhouse in this category, winning two U-17 World Cups (2005, 2011), getting a second place finish (2013) and a fourth place finish (2015), their last U-17 World Cup was a failure. With a talented team that included Diego Lainez, Mexico didn’t win a single game and barely got through to the Round of 16, where Iran eliminated them. Ruiz will have a tough task ahead, and the reports of their defeat against Argentina will place a lot of doubts on the team. While it’s important that Mexico was able to bounce back from the loss to Argentina to get two wins (something the U-20 team didn’t do in their final tour before the U-20 World Cup), the final tour is a hit to the positivity some had towards the team after winning two U-17 tournaments during the year in preparation for the U-17 World Cup. Mexico will make their debut in the U-17 World Cup on October 28th against Paraguay.