U-20 WWC: Mexico vs Japan

As I said before, I held off on watching the Mexico and US games so that I could watch them with a friend. I knew the scorelines, and I knew the US game did not go well. So to cheer her up after a stressful day complete with evaluations at work, we watched Mexico instead of the US. This turned out even better than I had expected.

Traditionally, Japan is the better team. They are quick, organized, and successful. Mexico is raw, young, and scrappy. And yesterday, they were, surprisingly, the better team. Japan had scored first, in the 19th minute, but Mexico pushed on through. They had three goals in the first half, courtesy of Renae Cuellar, Charlyn Corral, and Nayeli Rangel. Three sweet goals.

The Mexican side was consistent and capable of dealing defensively with Japanese strikers. Cecilia Santiago proved up to the challenge of stopping what got through her backline. Japan’s second tally was an unfortunate own goal by Cuellar, and the third came late, in the 88th minute. The final score was 3-3.

Overall, the draw feels like a win for Mexico. I don’t know that anyone objectively expected them to contend equally with Japan, but they did, and easily. Their entire group (C, with Nigera and England) stands even at one point apiece. If Mexico can maintain or even improve on their level of play from yesterday, I think they have a real shot at making the quarterfinals.


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