Mexico’s Under-17 National Team

Preview: Mexico vs. Senegal

“Partido molero”, meaningless friendly, call it as you may, but the Mexico national team open another busy calendar year as they take on Senegal at Marlins Park.

El Tri showed far and away to be the best team in the region in 2015, winning the Gold Cup and CONCACAF Cup, but 2016 presents Juan Carlos Osorio’s side tougher challenges and more excitable match-ups.

As far as excitement goes, though, opening the year against Senegal without their best players is hardly what most fans consider a must-watch game.

Still, there is plenty to keep an eye out for with guys like Erick Gutierrez and Hirving Lozano making their first appearance with the senior national team. Juan Carlos Osorio has been quite vocal in the past with what he specifically sees as the youngster’s best traits: brilliant in tight spaces and possessing electrifying bursts out on the wing.

However, the rest of the squad is what you would imagine the manager sees as a mix of substitutes and third-string players. In addition, Chivas’ decision to only allow Carlos Salcedo to join the national team seems to have further punctured Osorio’s selection process.

These contrasts don’t make this the game the more engaging, but El Tri fans realistically expect a win from their team.

With most of their top players featuring in Europe, Senegal are presented with exactly the same challenge as Mexico, but branded as overachieving outsiders after their quarter-final finish in the 2002 World Cup, the Lions will look to spoil the party in Miami.

With the potential of another successful year in 2016, despite given the circumstances of the match, the importance for Mexico to begin year in convincing fashion is indisputable. More important games will come, but all roads have to start somewhere for El Tri.

– Probable lineups

Senegal: N/A

Mexico: Jose de Jesus Corona; Gerardo Flores, Nestor Araujo, Yasser Corona, Jorge Torres Nilo; Jesus Zavala, Jesus Duenas, Luis Montes; Jurgen Damm, Eduardo Herrera, and Hirving Lozano

Where to watch: Wednesday, February 10, 8:00pm EST, Fox Sports 1 and Unimas and Univision Deportes Network and and Fubo TV (Free trial + monthly subscription)


Mexico fall to Belgium in third-place match of U-17 World Cup

Despite playing most of the second half with a man less, Belgium obtained a hard-fought 3-2 win over Mexico to win third place in the U-17 FIFA World Cup.

Belgium had taken a 54th minute lead with a Dennis Van Vaerenbergh strike, but El Tri pulled level four minutes later through a Ricardo Marin penalty.

Belgium had captain Wout Faes sent off in the 71st minute and looked set to to suffer against the CONCACAF Champions.

However, Dante Vanzeir scored moments later with a superb chip over Abraham Romero to earn the Europeans the lead.

Mexico had to wait until the 88th minute to equalize the score from a Francisco Venegas close-range shot, but at the death, Vanzeir scored an emphatic winner to seal third for the Belgians.

The result was Mexico’s fourth best finish at a U-17 World Cup after previously winning the tournament twice and ending runner’s up in the 2013 edition.


Mexico eliminated from U-17 World Cup after falling to Nigeria

Mexico was eliminated from the U-17 World Cup on Thursday after losing 4-2 to Nigeria in the semifinals.

El Tri got off to a great start just six minutes in when Kevin Magana picked up a ball inside the box and finished low past the Nigerian keeper.

But with 11 minutes to go in the first half, Nigeria equalized through a Kelechi Nwakali free kick. The African side then took the lead eight minutes later when Orji Okwonko blasted a shot from outside the area into the back of the net.

In the 59th minute, Diego Cortes weaved his way past several Nigerian defenders and fired past Akpan Udoh in goal to level the score.

As Mexico pushed for the winner, Nwakali picked out Osinachi Ebere at the edge of the box, and Abraham Romero failed to keep his shot out as Nigeria took the lead.

The Golden Eaglets then sealed their place in the final against Mali when Victor Osimhen scored his ninth goal of the tournament from the penalty spot for the 4-2.

Mexico will now play Belgium on Sunday for the third-place game.


Mexico reach U-17 World Cup semifinals with 2-0 win over Ecuador

The Mexico U-17 national team advanced to the semifinals of the U-17 World Cup with a 2-0 victory over Ecuador on Monday.

High-flying Mexico came into this game after wins against Germany and host Chile in the round of 16.

Claudio Zamudio opened the scoring in the 40th minute by converting a headed pass following a free-kick.

In the second half, only seconds after Jose Gurrola replaced Zamudio, the Chivas youngster earned a penalty for Mario Arteaga’s side.

El Tri, without suspended Francisco Venegas, handed a first start to Bryan Salazar, but there was never any doubting Salazar when he finished past Jose Gabriel Cevallos for the 2-0.

Ecuador pushed forward as they attempted to get back into the game, but the closest they came to pulling one back was when Juan Nazareno had a long-distance shot go wide of Abraham Romero’s goal.

At the final whistle, Mexico reached their fourth U-17 World Cup semifinal appearance in the last six World Cups.

Mexico will now travel to Concepcion to face Nigeria on Thursday, in a rematch of the 2013 U-17 World Cup final.


Mexico into U-17 World Cup quarterfinals after crushing hosts Chile 4-1

Hosts Chile were dumped out of the U-17 World Cup as the Mexico U-17 national team defeated them 4-1 at Chillan on Wednesday.

Mexico, who beat Germany on Saturday to top their group, deservedly progressed to the quarterfinals for the third World Cup in a row thanks to goals from Claudio Zamudio, Pablo Lopez, Eduardo Aguirre and Diego Cortes.

Most of the action in the opening 40 minutes lacked any fluency from both sides, but the hosts took the lead when Brian Leiva climbed highest off a corner to head home the 1-0.

Chile’s lead was short-lived, as Kevin Magana sent a cross to the far post where Claudio Zamudio was unmarked to tap in the equalizer.

After the interval, Mexico enjoyed more of the ball and took the lead in the 61st minute through Pablo Lopez. The left-footer sent a long distance strike to the bottom corner of the net to give Mexico the advantage.

Any such hopes of a Chile comeback were crushed eight minutes later after Eduardo Aguirre made it three.

Mexico rounded off the afternoon by scoring a fourth in added time when Diego Cortes drilled a first-time effort past Zacarias Lopez.

With the result, Mexico now head to Coquimbo to face the winner of tomorrow’s game between Russia and Ecuador.