England edges past a resurgent Mexico

The Group F match here at the Salt Lake Stadium, saw one of the best encounters of the tournament so far as Mexico played a super 25 minutes, in the end, taking the fight back to England, which till then was cosily positioned with a three-goal lead.

England tallied six points from two wins and remained on top of the group standings.   -  Bikas Das

England notched up its second successive win bettering a resurgent Mexico 3-2 to ensure a spot in the pre-quarterfinals of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

The Group F match here at the Salt Lake Stadium, saw one of the best encounters of the tournament so far as Mexico played a super 25 minutes, in the end, to take the fight back to England, which till then was cosily positioned with a three-goal lead.

Diego Lainez, one of the most talked about talents from North America, showed his merit in ample amount scoring twice for Mexico. His performance lit up the match, which for most of the occasion looked heavily loaded in favour of England.

England went in the lead late in the opening half, thanks to the young striker from Liverpool FC, Rihan Brewster before Philip Foden and the celebrated Jadon Sancho fired one apiece in the second half to secure a big lead for their team.

England seemed to begin the match from where it left off against Chile and kept Mexico pegged back to defending for the most part of the opening session.  Its authority in the match came from the combination in the middle between Foden, Geroge McEachran, and Sancho. Playing a fantastic passing game, the three hardly allowed the opponent any foothold in the creative zone.

Brewster, who has already started his professional career with the senior Liverpool FC side, had been erratic on many occasions when it came to converting chances. But the 39th-minute free-kick that he curled over the Mexican wall into the net convinced a good turnout at the stadium about his fantastic abilities.

The English performance after the break looked many notches higher as the ‘young Lions’ looked more incisive in their attacks. Foden, a Manchester City FC youth team player, did the scoring act himself having completed a fine exchange with Sancho inside the box that cleared him for the second goal in the 48th minute.

Mexico continued to reel under the relentless English attack and ended up conceding a penalty in the 54th minute when its captain Carlos Robles made the cardinal error of handling the ball while trying to cut out an intended cross from Sancho. The English left-winger found the mark from the spot to make it 3-0.

Mexico tried to make a comeback after this and almost succeeded in its venture as Lainez fired two goals in a span of seven minutes. It had a couple of more chances to find the equaliser in the 77th and 90+4 minutes when Alexis Gutierrez and Luis Olivas came close to scoring but saw its attempts blocked by the English defence.

England tallied six points from two wins and remained on top of the group standings.

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