• Friday Apr 19, 2013

    Mexico wins CONCACAF U-17 Championship

    PANAMA CITY, Panama - Salomon Wbias' goal in the 70th minute helped lift Mexico to a 2-1 win over 10-man Panama in the final of the CONCACAF U-17 Championship at Estadio Rommel Fernandez Friday night. It is El Tri's fifth CONCACAF U-17 championship.

    Canada beat Honduras in a penalty kick shootout, 4-2, after a 2-2 draw in the third place match. All four teams have qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in October.

    Mexico, which hasn't lost a U-17 match in CONCACAF play since 2003, broke the deadlock on one of several successful set pieces. Panama goalkeeper Jaime De Garcia could only get a piece of Jose Almanza's corner and Wbias pounced, putting the go-ahead goal in from the edge of the six-yard box for his second goal of the tournament.

    Jesus Araya broke the scoreless draw in the 51st minute, taking Luis Canate's corner kick that deflected off Mexican defender Jose Robles and blasted it into the net from the edge of the six-yard box to give Panama a 1-0 lead.

    It was the Panamanians first-ever goal against Mexico in the U-17 tournament and only the third goal El Tri conceded in this year's competition.

    A minute later, the hosts threatened to take a two-goal lead when Ismael Diaz played a great through ball to Ervin Zorrilla, but Mexican goalkeeper Raul Gudino raced off his line to beat the onrushing forward.

    One minute after Alejandro Diaz put a shot off the crossbar, Mexico equalized as De Gracia attempted to punch away Jose Robles' corner kick, but the ball went into the net in the 57th minute.

    Only one minute after giving up the go-ahead goal, Panama's chances at equalizing was dealt a near death blow in the 71st minute when Costa Rican referee Henry Bejarano sent off Jomar Diaz with a straight red card for violent conduct.

    Mexico nearly added an insurance goal in the 77th minute, but after Ivan Ochoa beat his defender and cut the ball back, Luis Hernandez put a first-time attempt just over the crossbar.

    Panama, though, furiously pressed forward, forcing an eighth corner kick in the 90th minute. Gudino misplayed Milciades Molina's attempt, but the keeper was saved when a defender cleared the ball off the line.

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