Monday, 4 November 2019

FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019: Mexico overwhelm Solomons to secure last-16 ticket

Efrain Alvarez of Mexico U-17 celebrates with teammates

Mexico secured a tournament high 8-0 win over debutants Solomon Islands in Vitoria on Sunday to win through to the knockout stage with ease. There were doubles for Alejandro Gomez, Efrain Alvarez and Israel Luna with the result never in doubt after El Tri secured a 3-0 half-time advantage. While Mexico collected the eight-goal advantage they required to potentially move into second, Paraguay’s win over group leaders Italy meant the north Americans had to settle for third in Group F.

Mexico made seven changes to the side which lost 2-1 to Italy, but El Tri barely missed a beat in attack. They scored inside two minutes, while five second-half goals guaranteed progression to the last-16 and a match up with Japan. It was one-way traffic in a dominant second period allowing Mexico to tally up on extraordinary 28 attempts on goal.

Solomon Islands’ debut at an 11-a-side FIFA tournament failed to gather a goal but the Melanesians depart Brazil having gained many admirers. Left-winger Philip Roba was a constant menace on the flank and star forward Raphael Leai showed flashes of his quality, while captain Leon Kofana had a last-minute chance to get his side on the scoresheet only to be denied by a high-quality save. Coach Stanley Waita described Brazil 2019 as a “learning experience” and the Solomons will certainly return to the world stage in the future as a stronger force.

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