FIFA U-17 World Cup: Mexico seek third tournament victory

Mexico have been U-17 world champions twice, are the only team to have won as hosts in 2011 and will look to win the tournament for the third time this year.

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Sep 30, 2017 16:03 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
FIFA U-17 World Cup,FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017,Mexico football team
Mexico are two-time winners of the FIFA U-17 World Cup. (AFP/FIFA)

Mexico coaching staff member Echeverria Perez Enrique had said in Kolkata last July that Mexico are coming with a target. They want to make the semi-finals first, Enrique said, and then return to Kolkata and play the final.

For the CONCACAF defending champions, this doesn’t sound like an empty boast. Mexico have been under-17 world champions twice and are the only team to have won as hosts, in 2011.

Over 100,000 watched Mexico beat Uruguay 2-0 at the Azteca stadium then. Mexico also won the event in 2005. And they have been CONCACAF champions in seven of the 10 editions including the last three.

This term, they scored 22 goals --- a record --- in the CONCACAF Cup and conceded six. Such performance is the result of a project started six-seven years ago, said Enrique.

KNOW THE COACH: Mario Arteaga

Like Cooper, this former semi-professional footballer has been around for a while, helping Mexico finish fourth in the 2015 World Cup in Chile and then guiding them to another CONCACAF title this year. Now 46, the former striker has played for top Mexican club Chivas and represented the country in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Usually lines up his team in a 4-3-3 formation.

THE POSSIBLE GAME-CHANGERS

Name: Roberto de la Rosa

Age: 17 years

Club: Pachuca

Position: Forward

Why he is special: He has already played four games for the club’s senior side having come through its youth team ranks.

Name: Jairo Torres

Age: 17 years

Club: Club Atlas

Position: Forward

Why he is special: He scored twice in the 5-1 rout of Jamaica and was adjudged player of the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Cup.

Name: Daniel Lopez

Age: 17

Club: Club Tijuana

Position: Forward

Why he is special: He scored five goals in the CONCACAF Cup and converted the penalty in the final. Has also played for the club’s senior team.

PAST PERFORMANCE: Champions: 2005, 2011. Runners-up: 2013. Fourth: 2015. Quarter-finals: 2003. Round of 16: 2009. Group stage: 1985, 87, 91, 93, 97. Did not qualify: 1989, 95, 2001, 2007.

PASSAGE TO INDIA: Qualified by virtue of winning the CONCACAF Cup

Results in CONCACAF Cup: Bt El Salvador 6-0; lost 3-4 to USA; bt Jamaica 5-1. Classification stage: Bt Panama 1-0; bt Costa Rica 6-1. Final: Bt USA 6 (1)-5(1).

First Published: Sep 20, 2017 17:53 IST