The U-17 Mexican national team defeated Brazil in a penalty shoot-out advancing them to the semifinals of the FIFA World Cup currently underway in the United Arab Emirates. Mexico is the defending champion having captured the title in 2011 when they hosted the event. El Tri is no stranger to winning the competition having also won the Peru 2005 edition with a team that had Giovani dos Santos and Carlos Vela on the squad.
The game was hard fought as the two of the best national squads from this side of the world faced-off. Mexico had put the ball in the net in the 80th minute with a goal from Ivan Ochoa. It looked like El Tri would advance with only 10 minutes to play. However, Nathan da Souza would break the net five minutes later to send the game into over-time after the 1-1 result.
The game would be resolved from the penalty spot. Brazil could have taken the game in the first five shots. Ulises Huerta had missed the fourth shot for Mexico. But goalkeeper Raúl Gudiño stopped Gabriel’s shot keeping the Mexicans in the game. Mexico scored the fifth and the shoot-out continued.
From that point on it was a turkey shoot with no team missing. Then Mosquito missed his shot. Brazil was dead in the water with Mexico having a shot to end the whole thing. Alejandro Diaz took his shot, and with precision put the ball past goalkeeper Marcos. Mexico advanced into the semifinals leaving Brazil out of the competition.
“They showed a character without equal,” Mexico Coach Raul Gutierrez said after the game. “Recovering from a thrashing (against Nigeria in game 1), then coming back to defeat Brazil is priceless. It is just for all the work and effort they have put into the competition.”
Mexico must wait for their next opponent. They will face the winner of the match between Argentina and Ivory Coast.