Mexico officially booked their ticket to the Round of 16 of the 2022 CONCACAF U20 Championship, defeating Trinidad and Tobago by a 5-0 score. Mexico overcame a slow start and another game with terrible field conditions to get their second impressive victory in the tournament. Mexico was the better side, and rose above the troubles with the field before getting the win that puts them into the next round. Mexico will close out against Haiti on Thursday as they try to win the Group, which they only need a tie to achieve.
The first half started with Mexico making few changes from the first match, the most notable was Emiliano Perez starting at goalkeeper. The first chance of the match fell to T&T when Noah Roka got a shot from outside the area that went just wide. A cross from Jonathan Perez was deflected by Trinidad’s goalkeeper Jahiem Wickham in what turned to be a good save. Later Perez lobbed a ball over Wickham, but it hit the post in what would have been an incredible goal. Later, a great cross by Bryan Gonzalez was just missed by Esteban Lozano, in what would have been an incredible chance had he been able to reach it. After a slow start, Mexico was having the better chances in the match under terrible conditions. Trinidad wasted the best chance when a cross into the area was missed by Mexico’s defense and Real Gill connected with the ball from close range, but incredibly his shot went wide in a play that looked easier to score than to miss it, Then off of a free kick, Wickham did a poor job clearing the match and it ended up being bobbled in the area until Lozano lowered it to Antonio Leone, who got a left footed close range shot into the net for the 1-0 lead. Mexico had finally taken a deserved lead. Then a great pass into the area found Perez, whose shot was blocked by Wickham before Perez got another shot that was blocked by a defender. A good shot from outside the area from Christian Torres forced Wickham to make a great save. Then just a minute before halftime, a great run from Jonathan Perez allowed him to get into the area. Perez was then able to find Bryan Gonzalez in the area, who got off a low left footed shot past Wickham for the 2-0 lead and a better representation of the domination of Mexico in the first half.
The second half started with Trinidad and Tobago subbing out Andrew De Gannes, Tyrik Trotman, and Noah Roka for Luke Phillip, Kassidy Davidson, and Kaihim Torell. Two minutes in, Lozano was tripped in the area and the referee gave a penalty kick to Mexico. Esteban Lozano took it and put a strong right footed shot past Wickhan, extending the lead to 3-0. Mexico continued to go on the attack and it paid off very quickly. A cross into the area was volleyed from close range by Jonathan Perez with a left footed shot, going past Wickham to make it 4-0. With the score looking to be out of reach, Mexico started to make moves. Mexico subbed out Antonio Leone, Salvador Mariscal, and Emilio Martinez for Abraham Freyfeld, Saul Zamora, and Diego Gomez. A long range lob from Lozano then hit the post, the second time it happened to Mexico on the night. Mexico then subbed out Jonathan Perez for Jesus Hernandez. Trinidad and Tobago meanwhile subbed out Nathaniel James and Real Gill for Isaiah Thompson and Josiah Wilson. A free kick from Hernandez came very close to going in, just going a little wide. Mexico subbed out Bryan Gonzalez for Heriberto Jurado. Then after a cross into the area was deflected right to Esteban Lozano, and Lozano got off a right footed shot past Wickham to make it 5-0. After a ball was left in the area, Jesus Alcantar got off a bicycle kick that was saved by Wickham. Mexico continued to go on the attack, but there was no more opportunities before the final whistle blew.
Mexico have completely dominated both matches they’ve played in the U20 CONCACAF Championship. Most notably, they have been able to do so under terrible field conditions which have been a bigger handicap to Mexico’s style of play that to their opponents. Mexico has lived up to the expectations as favorites, and with the ticket to the next round they may opt to rest some players. They still need to win the group however against a Haiti side that looks to be the best team of the group after Mexico, although still inferior to them. Needing only a tie and with the knockout stage on the horizon, Mexico should still switch players as they face a tough opponent but an even bigger hurdle in the awful field conditions that will seem to continue all through the matches played in Estadio Morazan, which Mexico still has two more games to play there.