Gio and Co. blank Gambia
© Foto-net

Mexico proved their junior world title was far from a fluke as many of those very same stars shone to beat out stylish Gambia 3-0 at Toronto's National Soccer Stadium on 1 July.

Jesus Ramirez decided to throw caution to the wind and started the contest with three out-and-out strikers. Carlos Vela, Giovanni dos Santos and Cesar Villaluz roared forward at every turn, but it was the Gambians who had the best chances in a pulsating opening period. Were it not for an exceptional array of saves from Alfonso Blanco, the Gambians would have been in front at the half. But as so often happens, they were made to pay for missed chances when, in the 67th minute, Dos Santos - largely anonymous up to that point - pounced on a loose ball to slam a perfect volley home from 20 yards. Hector Moreno then put the finishing touches on a scorching attack from close range in the 67th minute and substitute Javier Hernandez sealed the deal with a late poacher's tap-in.

The Mexicans now move to the pinnacle of Group C, alongside Portugal. Gambia can be well proud of their performance and take heart that a second-round berth is not beyond them.