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Mexico get past France to qualify to Maurice Revello final

The score ended 2-2. but El Tri took the PK shootout by a 4-3 score.

via @FMF

Mexico qualified to the Maurice Revello Tournament final for a third time ever after defeating France in the semifinal by a PK shootout. El Tri battled hard against the hosts, who although an U-19 team (compared to Mexico’s U-23) were favored to get through to the final, just as they did in 2022. Mexico twice took the lead, but France came back to tie them. Mexico will now face fellow CONCACAF team Panama in the final on Sunday.

The match began with Mexico making some changes, the most notable putting Arturo Delgado in at goalkeeper instead of Hector Holguin. A great left-footed shot from Alberto Herrera would hit the post in the best opportunity to that point. A mistake from Delgado, who went to get a cross and missed, allowed Ilyes Housni to get a header into the empty net, but it went wide. Mexico would respond with a good pass that allowed Angel Robles to get into the area on a 1 vs 1 and get off a left-footed shot past France’s goalkeeper Justin Bengui for the opening goal of the match. France would go on the attack and it would pay off. After a great combination of passes, Elisse Ben Seghir would get the ball in the area and fire a shot past Delgado for the tying goal. The French continued to pressure as Mexico failed to gather themselves after the goal. After getting a pass in the area, Luca Martinez Dupuy’s shot would hit the post. Although France were the better team, especially in the later part of the half, Mexico came closest to retaking the lead in the final minute.

The second half started with France subbing in Naim Byar for Mokrane Bentoumi. Off a corner kick, Uziel Garcia was left wide open and volleyed the ball past Bengui to give Mexico the 2-1 lead. France responded and almost immediately got into the area where Ramon Juarez committed a foul, resulting in a PK. Replays showed that the play should have been called offside, but it was missed and since there is no VAR, it wasn’t called. Mathys Tel would step up to take it and to tie the match at 2-2.

Off a free kick, Robles would get off a good shot that would go just wide. Later, off corner kick, Juarez got off a great header, but the ball went just wide. Mexico would get into the area, but Trigos took too long to cross, and although the ball fell to Hernandez, his left-footed shot went wide. Off another corner, the ball was headed to Hernandez, who got off a bicycle kick from close range, but the ball went over the bar. Jonathan Perez got a last-minute shot from outside the area that went just wide in the final play of the match. It would come down to a penalty shootout to define the winner.

Ultimately, France’s Andrea Daccourt stepped up to take the final PK that hit the post, giving Mexico the win.

Mexico will play in the Maurice Revello final for a third time. En route to winning the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal, Mexico won the tournament when it was still called Toulon by crushing Turkey 3-0. In 2018, they once again played the final, but fell to England by a 2-1 score. Now, they go for a third time after finally defeating France. Mexico were the better side and should have finished the game in 90 minutes, but a number of mistakes in the last third doomed them. That being said, France tied the match off a PK that shouldn’t have been given because the play had started off a clear offside that the linesman failed to see. Mexico will go into the final slightly favored, but Panama will be a tough team as they remain undefeated and got a victory over Australia, the team that had beaten Mexico to take the top spot of the group. El Tri will hope to get their second tournament title, especially now that Mexican football seems to be in one of its worst crisis in years.