Mexico played their best game in the CONCACAF U-17 Tournament as they defeated Trinidad and Tobago by a score of 5-0 to clinch first place in the group. Mexico completely dominated the game and the result was never in doubt after an early goal. With the win, Mexico got first place in the group and will now go to the knockout rounds, where they will face Puerto Rico. Trinidad and Tobago also qualified to the knockout stages and will face Honduras.
The game started with a slow pace but Mexico took control as time went by. In the first real chance, Mexico opened the scoring. A great cross in the area found Bryan Gonzalez, who was unmarked between two defenders and he headed the ball to score the 1-0.
Mexico kept pressuring the ball. After a handball, Mexico got a free kick and in the ensuing free-kick, Santiago Muñoz was able to head in and score.
Trinidad and Tobago started playing rougher and De Gannes got a yellow card moments later. Off that same free kick, the Trinidad defenders failed to clear the ball and instead left the ball for Muñoz to score from near range and put the game 3-0.
Mexico continued to dominate, although they calmed down their intensity which allowed for a more dominating performance as Trinidad and Tobago’s desperation allowed for a totally uninspiring performance that played right into Mexico’s plan. At halftime it ended 3-0 with Mexico having the best 45 minutes of the tournament so far.
The second half started with the sun out, maybe previewing that heat will play a factor in the play unlike the cloudy first half.
Efrain Alvarez was subbed on for Israel Luna and he made an impact almost immediately. Bryan Gonzalez made a great cross, which Alvarez was able to rise and head it for the 4-0.
Alvarez then came close to scoring when he was alone in the area but his shot went wide.
Soon, Trinidad and Tobago started wilting in the heat. Mexico’s keeper Eduardo Garcia came out to grab a ball and started a counter attack that finished with Santiago Muñoz going alone vs the Trinidad goalkeeper. Garcia eventually put it past the keeper for the 5-0 as he completed his hat-trick.
Mexico rode the last minutes as the ref didn’t give any injury time, and mercifully for Trinidad and Tobago, finished the game.
Mexico close out their group stage with a marked improvement in performance. After a slow start against Jamaica and a dominating performance everywhere but the final third against Bermuda, Mexico had its overall best performance on Sunday.
Still, with both teams coming in already qualified, it might not have been a great test, although Trinidad and Tobago had been the best team so far of all the opponents in the group and they should be a better team than Puerto Rico. Mexico will now have to look to that game in a “do or die” environment in which they should be benefited by not only the lack of quality of it’s opponent but by the fact that because of CONCACAF’s calendar, this will be Puerto Rico’s first competitive game since April, when they won their right to play this game by winning their group. Mexico and Puerto Rico will face each other on Wednesday.