The Mexico vs Argentina U-17 World Cup semifinal match held on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 in Abu Dhabi ended in a 3-0 victory for Mexico, ensuring them a shot at winning back to back U-17 World Cup titles. This was an action filled game where both teams left every thing they had on the field, in the end, it was the Mini Tri that came out victorious thanks to a great first half.
Just 2 minutes into the match, Mexico was in deep trouble, as the ref correctly called a penalty in favor of Argentina. Nonetheless, Mexico’s best player, goalkeeper Gudiño, came up with a huge save, diving to his left to stop the shot. Mexico responded right away with a goal from Ochoa in the 5th minute off a corner kick. The dead ball plays would prove to be Argentina’s weakness.
The next 15 minutes had plenty of action on both sides of the pitch, with both teams creating several scoring opportunities. However, a free kick proved to be the difference maker, as Mexico scored the 2-0 goal, once again via Ochoa. With the two goal lead, Mexico has everything going in its favor.
Things got even better for the Mini Tri in the 31st minute, when Argentina’s leading goal scorer, Ibañez, was given a red card for a rough challenge. The red card proved to be too much for Argentina, as they were never really able to recover. For the rest of the first half, Mexico dominated possession.
In the second half, Argentina took on more of an offensive formation, moving its lines up in hopes of scoring a goal. Mexico acquiesced by defending deeper, allowing the Argentinians to move forward, and using the open space to counterattack at will.
Argentina tried and tried, and came very close to scoring on more than one occasion, however, it was Mexico which would end up scoring in the end. Granados scored the third Mexican goal in the 86th minute off a beautiful counterattack, sealing the 3-0 victory for the Mini Tri.
Argentinian goalkeeper Batalla was red carded late in the game due to stopping a clear goal scoring opportunity just outside the box. This game had everything.
With the victory, Mexico moves on to the U-17 World Cup final, which will be held on Friday, November 8, 2013, where they will face the winner of the Sweden vs Nigeria match. If Mexico goes on to win the tournament, it will be the first time Mexico wins back to back U-17 World Cup titles.