FIFA U-17 WC: Mexico into playoffs with draw

A goalless draw with Chile was enough to propel it to the round of 16.

Mexico captain Luis Qlivas (4) is obstructed by Chile defenders.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Mexico deserved to win against Chile in its last Group-F match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup here on Saturday, but the end result of a goalless draw was enough for the two-time champion to make it to the round of 16. Mexico will next take on Iran on October 17 in Margao. Incidentally, this is the first goalless draw of the tournament.

Match Centre

With one point from two matches, Mexico needed a draw to make the playoffs, while Chile (zero points) required a win to qualify. And with the outcome, Chile is now out of the reckoning. The second half completely belonged to Mexico as it dominated, attacking from both flanks. Only, it lacked the final touch.

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Mexico almost scored during injury time. With the goalkeeper Julio Borquez out of his zone, Roberto De La Rosa had the goalpost in front of him, but his shot hit the crossbar. Mario Arteaga, Mexico’s head coach, made three substitutions in the last 20 minutes, but nothing could break the deadlock.

Dominance

Actually, it was only in the second session that Mexico displayed a semblance of a system and made purposeful passes. Mexico came close to scoring in the 87th minute when wonderful work by Deigo Lainez from the right saw Andres Perez hit over the post.

Chile, on the other hand, never came close to finding the target. Mexico had 69 per cent ball possession in the first session, and had half-a-dozen opportunities but in its desperation to convert messed up everything up. As early as in the third minute, Roberto’s volley sailed over the post. Later, Chile's goalkeeper Borquez made a brilliant save off a free-kick by Deigo Lainez by jumping to his left. It was not Mexico’s day, but certainly it will not complain.

The results

Group-F: Mexico 0 drew with Chile 0.

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