Mexico will make their 2019 Toulon Tournament debut against Bahrain on Monday. Mexico’s hopes for the tournament got a severe hit when they lost badly on Friday against the Netherlands by a score of 5-1. This, in addition to the disastrous campaign in the U-20 World Cup, where Mexico lost all their games, has Mexico’s confidence on the youth teams on a downward slide. That said, Mexico should still be favored on Monday and have a good opportunity of making it through to the next round after being drawn one one of the easiest groups in the competition.
A year ago, Mexico had one of their best youth tournament participations when they got to the final and finished in second place. Led by Diego Lainez, who won the best player of the tournament award, Mexico won their group and defeated Turkey but couldn’t win the title as they fell to England. Although they didn’t face the toughest opposition, Mexico still had their best finish in the Tournament since 2012, when they won their only Toulon title. This time Mexico is going into the tournament under a dark cloud. Mexico just completed the worst performance in a U-20 World Cup. And while it’s another team than the U-23 team that will play in Toulon, the whole youth team environment is under the eye. Under this cloud, Mexico played a friendly against the Netherlands prior to Toulon and fell badly by a score of 5-1. Coach Jaime Lozano will now have to improve the team, especially on defense, the area that looked the weakest against the Dutch team. With the Olympic games on the line with this team, Lozano can’t leave anything to chance and the panorama isn’t the most optimal.
Mexico was seeded in Group C where they will face Bahrain. While Mexico is expected to be the better team against Bahrain and China, they will have a tough time against the Republic of Ireland. It’s expected to be a battle of two for the group, and with other groups having strong teams like England, Brazil and France, it might not be enough to arrive in second place. The Semifinals will consist of the Group winners and the best second placed finisher. Judging by the early results, however, including England and Portugal losing and Japan having the best performance in their debut, all show that it might be a tough tournament to predict. Mexico should be cautious against Bahrain although the current losing streak means that if anything there is no place for overconfidence with Mexico’s youth teams.
Date: Monday, June 4
Time: 10:00am Pacific, 12:00pm Central, 1:00pm Eastern
Venue: Stade de Lattre-de-Tassigny, Aubagne, France
TV: beIN SPORTS USA en Español (US-Español), beIN SPORTS USA (US-English), ESPN3 (Mexico)
Listings via LiveSoccerTV.com