ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Mexico is alive and kicking at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Turkey.
The Mexicans progressed into the Round of 16 on Saturday as one of four wild-card teams.
The champion and runner-up from each of the six groups earned automatic berths into the knockout phase along with the four best third-place finishers.
El Tri is scheduled to face Spain in Istanbul on Tuesday.
Spain, the only team to win all of its group stage games, outscored its foes, 7-2. The two-time defending European champions are paced by Jese, whose four goals place him second to Portugal's Bruma (five goals) in the tournament's scoring race. Gerard Deulofeu has contributed two goals.
"It's a hackneyed phrase but [we] know that if you are to be the greatest in a tournament you always have to fight the best," said Mexico assistant coach Marco Antonio Ruiz. "It does not scare us at all to face Spain."
After dropping their first two games of the tournament, the Mexicans (1-0-2, 3 points) bounced back with a 4-1 Group D victory over Mali on Friday. The result gave the side a plus one goal differential (five goals, four against), just ahead of another second-round qualifier, Ghana.