Beaten by Argentina in their first outing, Mexico can ill afford another disappointment when they meet Korea DPR in Group F of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011 on Monday. Expected to be the weak link in the section, the North Koreans showed in snatching a point from England that they are not here to make up the numbers.
Mexico-Korea DPR, Monday 1 August, Medellin, 17.00 (local time)
The Mexicans impressed against Argentina on Friday but failed to do the most important thing and put the ball in the back of the net. The CONCACAF giants paid dearly for their profligacy and with their Colombia 2011 fate now hanging in the balance, the strike trio of Ulises Davila, Alan Pulido and Taufic Guarch will need to sharpen their finishing.
Though less is expected of them than El Tri, the Asians had the same goalscoring problems against England. Even so, forwards Jong Il-Gwan and Pak Song Chol gave the English defence plenty to do and if they can adjust their sights a little, they could fire their team to the brink of a place in the next round.
0 - The number of FIFA U-20 World Cup matches Korea DPR have won in their history. That said, the Asian side have only appeared in the competition once before, losing one game and drawing two at Canada 2007. After that draw against the English, the Young Chollimas will be hopeful of making Mexico, who are set to play their 45th game in the competition, their first victims.
Juan Carlos Chavez, Mexico coach: “There are three matches to play and we lost the first. Now we’ve got two games to make up for that, and the draw between England and Korea DPR worked in our favour. We still have plenty of desire and we hope that remains the case after the Korea game.”
Jo Tong-Sop, Korea DPR coach: “Mexico are a more technical team than England and we’ll need to be solid in defence and improve our tactics up front. If we can do that, I don’t see why we can’t win.”