Mexico continued their streak of qualifying out of the group stage at the Maurice Revello Tournament for the 4th time in a row. They qualified as the best 2nd placed team after Group C had Ivory Coast defeat Japan after losing the top spot of the group with a loss against Australia in their final match. Mexico will now face hosts France in the semifinal clash on Friday for the 2nd consecutive time, hoping they do better than the 4-1 loss in the 2022 edition.
Mexico vs Qatar
Mexico came into their second match after winning their opener and facing a tough Qatar side that defended themselves well in the first half. Mexico had the better opportunities, but weren’t able to break down the well placed Qatari defense and the match was scoreless at the half.
The second half saw Mexico open themselves up a little more, but their main advantage came off an incredible Qatari meltdown on defense on a set piece. Off a corner, Qatar failed to clear the ball and it went to Santiago Trigos, who got off an incredible bicycle kick that went into the net, opening the score for the 1-0. Off another corner, Ramon Juarez would jump and get a wide open header that went into the net for the 2-0. While Qatar might have not done much with Trigos’s incredible goal, they were totally to blame for the terrible defensive mistake that allowed Juarez a wide open header from close range.
Off another corner kick, once again Mexico had Juarez get a header that would bounce of the post and into the path of Luca Martinez Dupuy, who got a shot off that bounced off a Qatari defender and into the net for the 3-0. Qatar were totally in shambles and a bad back pass went right to Martinez Dupuy, who would get a shot past the goalkeeper for the 4-0. Qatar would try to attack and in doing so left open lanes behind, but Mexico couldn’t get another, in the end obtaining a commanding result in a 4-0 win. With the victory, Mexico were a point away from winning the group, the 6 points, and goal difference. Even with a loss, they had big chances to go through as the best 2nd placed team.
Mexico vs Australia
Mexico came to their last match only needing a point to win the group, but a loss would give the group to Australia. It was an even match where Mexico were more cautious, and although it was an even match, El Tri were the slightly better team. Unfortunately for Mexico, the second half started with a chance from Noah Botic, who had a shot right to goalkeeper Hector Holguin, but made a terrible mistake and allowed the goal that gave Australia the lead. Holguin should have done better. Mexico tried to come back and were close to getting the goal, but another bad mistake ultimately gave Australia the win. A counter that was finished with a pass into the area and a goal from Marlee Francois allowed Australia to clinch the 2-0 win, giving them first place with Mexico now having to wait for results.
For a second consecutive tournament, Mexico qualified to the semifinal after finishing as the best 2nd placed team. While Mexico depended on other results again to qualify, their record of 6 points and a +3 goal difference was better than group winners France and Panama, with only Australia having a better record. Mexico will now face hosts France, who defeated them 4-1 in the last edition, but this time will be playing with an U-19 team as their U-21 team preps for the Euro U-21 tournament that starts next week in Romania. Thus, while France will have the boost of being hosts, the age difference could even things out. However, France is such a talented football nation that Mexico will only be slightly favored if at all. The semifinal will be played on Friday, while Mexico will play either the 3rd place match or the Final on Sunday.