Players from Mexico react to a kick taken during a penalty shootout against Brazil in their FIFA U-17 World Cup quarterfinal on November 1, 2013, at Rashid Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo: Mexsport)
DUBAI, UAE – Mexico outlasted Brazil 11-10 on penalty kicks to advance to the FIFA U-17 World Cup semifinals after the teams played to a 1-1 draw at Al-Rashid Stadium on Friday.
Next Tuesday, the CONCACAF champion plays the winner of Saturday’s quarterfinal between Argentina and Ivory Coast for a place in the final.
Mexico, which won the competition on home soil in 2011, needed a 12th round of penalty kicks to decide the scintillating encounter. Goalkeeper Raul Gudino dived to his left to parry away Mosquito’s second attempt of the shootout.
It was a second save for the goalkeeper, who converted his attempt in the 11th. The 17-year-old also staved off elimination when he dived to his right to stop Gabriel’s shot with Brazil leading 4-2 in the fifth round.
As he did with Mexico’s first penalty kick, Alejandro Diaz scored from the spot, putting his attempt to the left of Brazilian goalkeeper Marcos to set off a wild celebration and conclude a breathtaking quarterfinal.
Ivan Ochoa broke a scoreless tie in the 80th minute. Ulises Rivas sent a free kick from the touchline across the box, where Diaz flicked it on before Ochoa was able to guide the ball into the net from the edge of the six-yard box.
Mexico’s lead, though, was short-lived as Nathan equalized for Brazil five minutes later. The midfielder followed his own blocked shot with a blistering volley inside the near post from 14-yards out.
Three-time champion Brazil nearly had the winner two minutes later, only to see Leo Pereira’s header hit off the crossbar.
Mexico, which beat Italy 2-0 in the Round of 16, rallied after trailing 4-2 early in the penalty kick shootout as Rivas, the Mexican captain, couldn’t solve Marcos in the third round.
But Gudino came to the rescue with the first of two dramatic saves, stopping Gabriel, to keep El Tri’s hopes of repeating as champions alive.