Three second-half goals in a nine-minute frenzy electrified the crowd in Talca as Mexico narrowly edged Germany 2-1 to take top spot in Group C of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015. The slick surface at the Estadio Fiscal led to a fast, entertaining end-to-end match, which surprisingly went into half-time without a shot on goal.
After the scoreless first half with barely a chance at either end to mention, the second 45 minutes sprung to life right around the hour mark as Mexico jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead. Pablo Lopez opened the scoring off an unfortunate deflection that sent Christian Frommann the wrong way. Francisco Venegas followed suit shortly afterwards, fighting through a crowded goalmouth to head Kevin Magana’s corner kick home.
Germany ensured it would be a tense finish in Talca, however, as only three minutes later Johannes Eggestein scooped the ball over El Tri goalkeeper Abraham Romero, capitalising on Germany’s third bite of the cherry from Mats Kohlert’s corner kick after Mexico failed to clear two previous attempts.
The Europeans kept up the pressure for the remaining 20 minutes with Mexico firmly on the back foot trying to hold onto their slender lead. Kohlert and Eggestein led the charge as German chances flashed high and wide of Romero’s net as his backline resorted to rushed clearances to alleviate the danger.
El Tri celebrated vibrantly in the rain at the sound of the full-time whistle as Mexico reached the Round of 16 where they will face a third-place side from Group A, B or F, while Germany are set to encounter Croatia in the knockout stage.