Mexico started their 2022 Concacaf U20 Championship with a convincing 8-0 victory over Suriname, climbing to to the top of Group F. Mexico totally dominated the match and overcame terrible field conditions to get a goal fest. Mexico will now only have a day of rest before facing their second match of the group against Trinidad and Tobago, who got a 4-4 tie against Haiti in their debut.
The first half started with Mexico coming in as heavy favorites, needing to score goals to get a clear goal differential advantage. They went with a forward line of Jonathan Perez and Esteban Lozano in a tournament that will have to have a long of moves, as there is only a day in between competitive matches. Early on, a cross into the area was cleared by a Surinamese defender almost into his own net. Off of a corner kick, Mexico twice came close to scoring, the better chance a header by Fidel Ambriz that was cleared off of the line by a defender. Mexico continued to dominate in the early minutes, and it looked like it was only a matter of time before they opened the scoring. Then after Karel Campos got the ball in the area, he got off a left footed shot that Suriname goalkeeper Dwayne Meerzog saved, but left the rebound in the path of Esteban Lozano, who easily kicked the ball into the empty net for the 1-0 lead. Mexico continued to dominate, and ten minutes later once again made an impact. Emilio Martinez made a pass into the area for Salvador Mariscal, who got a strong low shot right through Meerzog, who should have done better with it, making it 2-0 for Mexico. A minute later there was a great combination play where Salvador Mariscal found Lozano, who then backheeled the ball back to Mariscal, and Mariscal got off a right footed shot past Meerzog for the 3-0 lead. The score now reflected the total domination from Mexico. Suriname answered when a mistake by defender Antonio Leone, that went just wide. Mexico then got the ball in the area and Mariscal got off a low shot that Meerzog saved. Then off of a free kick, Perez hit a left footed cross into the area and Fidel Ambriz rose to get a header past Meerzog for the 4-0 lead. It was a great cross by Perez, and a terrible defensive display from Suriname that allowed Mexico to easily get the fourth goal. A cross into the area almost turned into a great goal from Lozano, but the ball he volleyed went just wide. Suriname then had another chance when the ball fell to Andro in the area, but his close range shot went wide. In injury time, Bryan Gonzalez went from one area to another, made a great move to get past a Suriname defender, and then got into the area and hit a great left footed shot past Meerzog for the best goal of the match and the 5-0 lead. It was the best and last play of the half, and Mexico took a commanding lead to the second half.
The second half started with Mexico subbing out Fidel Ambriz, Jonathan Perez, and Esteban Lozano for Saul Zamora, Christian Torres, and Jesus Hernandez. Suriname meanwhile subbed out Givon Derby for Georrayne Boumann. Andro got another chance in the area, but once again his shot went wide, and he also wound up injured in the play. He had to be subbed out for Eldjero de Mees. It looked like Suriname’s goalkeeper, Meerzog had injured himself, but after several minutes of medical attention, he was able to remain in the match. Later it was Karel Campos who looked to have injured himself and had to be taken off of the field. Diego Gomez was then subbed in for the injured Campos. Suriname meanwhile subbed out Chesron Oostwoud for Ammiel Reingoud. The Campos injury was the first setback for Mexico under the terrible field of Estadio Morazan, and Mexico continued to lower their intensity as they tried to save players from injuries for the coming matches. Suriname subbed out another injured player Jayen Gerold for Roche Asidan. Off of a corner kick, Mexico almost scored an olimpico goal, but Meerzog was able to punch it off of the line. A shot from outside the area from Torres was left there by Meerzog, but in a terrible miss, Gonzalez sent his left footed shot wide instead of into the empty net. Torres then got the ball in the area, but his shot was well saved by Meerzog. Mexico then subbed out Bryan Gonzalez for Heriberto Jurado. A shot from outside the area from Gomez went just wide. Then Hernandez got the ball just outside the area and got off a great cross that Meerzog misjudged. Salvador Mariscal however was able to rise up and head iit nto the empty net to complete his hat trick and give Mexico the 6-0 lead. Hernandez later got the ball in the area, but his shot went just wide. Even with the six goal lead, the referee gave ten minutes of injury time, mainly because of all the cramps that Meerzog had early in the second half. Off of a corner kick, the ball was headed in the area and left in the path of Antonio Leone, who got off a great right footed shot from close range into the net for the 7-0 lead. Then after a couple of minutes, Torres got a kick in the face just outside the area in a play that looked like a red card. The ref went to VAR and in fact gave Ammiel Reingoud the deserved red card. Mexico then subbed out the injured Torres for Rafael Palma. Jesus Hernandez then stepped up to take the free kick, and with a beautiful right footed shot score to complete the 8-0 rout.
Mexico completely dominated Suriname, crushing them with a 8-0 score even when they seemed to take the foot off of the gas pedal. It was a deserved and expected win, even though Mexico had to adjust for truly terrible field conditions. The main worries for Mexico now are the injuries to Campos and Torres, and more importantly the conditions of the field of Estadio Morazan in San Pedro Sula, where heavy rains have impacted an already not well-maintained field. To make things worse, there will be two games played there on Monday before Mexico has once again to take this field against Trinidad and Tobago, in a match where who knows what the field conditions will be. Still, Mexico is heavy favorites to win Group F and they just showed it in their first match of the competition.