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The past

Mexico can count themselves somewhat unfortunate on their prior appearances at FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups. On their first outing, Las Aztecas headed for home after three defeats in a formidable group containing Brazil, France and Germany. Next time around they were again drawn with the Germans, as well as Switzerland and women’s football powerhouses Korea DPR. And though they were able to record a 4-2 victory over the Swiss, this joy was tempered by a thumping 9-1 defeat by Germany and a 4-0 reverse at the hands of the Koreans. At their third finals in Chile in 2008, meanwhile, Mexico again lost all three of their group encounters.

The present

On the evidence of their qualifying campaign for Germany 2010, this crop of Mexican youngsters appear capable of faring better than their predecessors. After finishing second in their group after a 2-1 defeat by the USA and wins over Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, 2-0 and 2-1 respectively, Las Tricolores edged out semi-final opponents Canada 1-0 after extra time, star striker Charlyn Corral firing the winner direct from a corner. Even Corral could not find a way through in the final, however, when the United States once again underlined their dominance with a 1-0 success.

The future

Led by up-and-coming coach Roberto Medina and with a group of players already boasting a wealth of international experience, Mexico have their sights set on reaching the knockout phase of the U-20 showpiece for the very first time. With this aim in mind, Las Aztecas’ meticulous preparations will include a training camp in Mexico, warm-up matches in the United States and a lengthy European tour before touching down on German soil.

Facts and figures

Former stars

Guadalupe Worbis (2002), Monica Ocampo (2006), Charlyn Corral (2006, 2008), Liliana Mercado (2008)

Key players

Aurora Santiago (goalkeeper), Viridiana Diaz (defender) Liliana Godoy (midfield), Charlyn Corral (forward).

The stat

15 – The age promising keeper Aurora Santiago will be at Germany 2010, the youngster having proven her worth by shipping just four goals in five qualifying encounters.