Mexico into last eight, send hosts out

Mexico came from behind to see off Chile with a 4-1 win in a fervent Chillan atmosphere to send the hosts out of the competition at the Round of 16 stage, and put the two-time FIFA U-17 World Cup winners into the last eight. Brian Leiva's opener saw the Estadio Nelson Oyarzún Arenas erupt in jubilant celebration, but the fans' joy was momentary. Claudio Zamudio tapped El Tri level before turning provider for Pablo Lopez to put Mario Arteaga's side ahead. Lopez in turn crossed for Eduardo Aguirre to score before Diego Cortes rubberstamped the victory.

The first big chance of the game fell Mexico’s way, with Zacarias Lopez scrambling to tip Jose Esquivel’s header past his left-hand post, before the same player’s header goes just wide from the resulting corner kick. But it would be Chile who went ahead five minutes before the interval. A perfect inswinging corner from Rene Melendez found Leiva, who nodded past Abraham Romero in the Mexican goal.

The hosts’ lead was short-lived, as El Tri sprung quickly to level. Aguirre played the ball wide to Kevin Magana, who squared across the box to the sliding Zamudio who tapped in a simple finish. Chile responded, with Gabriel Mazuela then finding space on the right and fizzed a cross towards Allende, which just missed the diminutive No10. Melendez picked the ball up on the left and struck the ball back across the box, but his cross-shot flashed wide.

Zamudio turned provider for Mexico’s second, pivoting on the edge of the Chilean penalty area and teeing up the onrushing Pablo Lopez. The midfielder showed wonderful technique to hit a first time effort with the outside of his left foot past the Chile goalkeeper. Pablo Lopez then retrieved the ball on the Mexican left, close to the corner flag and whipped in a delicious cross. Zacarias Lopez waited for the ball but Aguirre nipped in ahead of the Chilean goalkeeper and poked home.

Cortes' late effort saw him find space in the Chilean penalty area before sweeping past Zacarias Lopez to add further gloss to the victory. Mexico's win sees them into the quarter-final, where they head to Coquimbo to face the victor of tomorrow's clash between Russia and Ecuador.