The classic meeting between Portugal and Mexico on the second Group C matchday in Toronto on Thursday was always going to be a tight affair. With two of the most naturally gifted teams at these finals squaring off, tension and technique was the order of the day.
Barcelona gem Giovanni Dos Santos, who shone with some tremendous individual moments in the first half, had his say in the second, stamping his mark on the proceedings to send the defending U-17 world champions on their way. Ghosting into the penalty area to latch on to the end of a slide-rule Carlos Vela through ball in the 48th minute, the soon-to-be-senior Mexican international was hauled down unceremoniously by Paulo Renato. With a technique grabbed straight from watching Brazil star and club team-mate Ronaldinho in training, magic-man Gio tip-toed up to the spot and stroked home with his left foot. As Portuguese heads dropped both down on the pitch and up in the stands, El Tri substitute Carlos Barrera slammed home a peerless half-volley from near the spot in minute 66 to take control of the contest.
A blistering free kick goal from Antunes in the last minute of regular time did nothing to change the outcome and little to dent Mexican confidence looking ahead. The result guarantees the stylish, organised and entertaining Mexico a place in the Round of Sixteen alongside yesterday's qualifiers Japan and Nigeria. They play New Zealand in their last game on Saturday while Portugal square off with Gambia, with whom they are even on three points, on the same day.