Although Mexico are fast becoming a force in the women’s game in the CONCACAF Zone, they missed out on a place at the inaugural FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, held in New Zealand in 2008. The region’s qualifiers on that occasion were USA, Canada and Costa Rica.
In response Leonardo Cuellar, the director of Mexico’s national women’s teams, went about the job of ensuring there would be no repeat of that disappointment, drafting in the young and promising Saul Resendiz as coach and embarking on an exhaustive search for talented players. The results of their hard work were there for all to see at the CONCACAF qualifying competition for Trinidad and Tobago 2010, held in Costa Rica in March. Mexico’s new generation surged through to the final, where they went down by a solitary goal to the formidable Canadians. Despite that defeat, Resendiz’s side had already done enough to secure one of the two berths available at the world finals.
His charges are well aware of the responsibility they will have to shoulder in representing their country at such an important competition. Intent on giving good account of themselves, the Mexicans are also hoping to have fun in Trinidad and Tobago. “I’m delighted we managed to qualify,” says Cintia Sandoval. “The chance to represent Mexico and come up against girls from other countries will be a unique experience for us.”
Facts and figures
Cintia Sandoval, Diana Gonzalez and Tanya Samarzich
Mexico won 4 games in the qualifying competition in Costa Rica and lost just one, scoring 13 goals and conceding 2 in the process.
The numbers game
8 - The number of players who scored for Mexico in the qualifying competition.