• Wednesday May 03, 2017

    Mexico tops Panama, qualifies for U-17 World Cup

    Mexico's Jairo Torres (pictured ) celebrates after scoring against Panama in the CONCACAF Under-17 Championship on May 3, 2017, in the El Chorrillo section Panama City, Panama. (Photo: Victor Straffon/Straffon Images)

    PANAMA CITY, Panama – Jairo Torres scored the only goal in the first half and Mexico (1W-0D-0L, 3 points) earned a berth in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup with a 1-0 victory over host Panama (0-0-2, 0) in a Classification Stage match at 2017 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship on Wednesday.

    The Group E result at the Estadio Maracana also confirmed Costa Rica's place in India later this year.  On Friday, the two-time defending champion Mexicans will square off against Costa Rica (1-0-0, 3), which beat now-eliminated Panama 2-1 on Monday, for a place in the CU17 final.

    Torres netted in the 32nd minute, when he embarked on a 50-yard run down the left wing and into the box, before poking past goalkeeper Jorginho Frias with his right foot from seven-yards out.

    Panama took to the offensive in the early going, but it could not solve goalkeeper Cesar Lopez.  The 16-year-old custodian denied Victor Griffith's 24-yard blast with a two-handed save in the 30th minute and made two quick stops within seconds in the 81st minute.

    Mexico, which improved to 5-0-0 against Panama in CU17 encounters, is now unbeaten in 26 of its last 27 outings in the competition.

    The Panamanians finished with 10 men after midfielder Jorge Mendez was shown his second yellow card for taking down Raul Sandoval a minute into second-half stoppage time.

     

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