MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – After kicking off the 2013 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship on Wednesday with a 1-1 draw against Haiti – the first time it failed to win a tournament opener in four all-time tries – Mexico bounced back two days later with a 7-0 win over El Salvador.
The result thrust the Tricolor back into semifinal contention and was more in line with the team’s expectations before arriving in Jamaica.
"We continue with the fight,” said head coach Leonardo Cuellar, who has developed the Mexican women’s program into a CONCACAF power. “The difference from the first match is that we took our chances early on, which I feel gave us the confidence and composure for the team to put in a strong performance."
A large part of that “strong performance” fell on the shoulders of Janae Gonzalez, a United States-based forward. She responded splendidly, having a hand in six of the seven goals and netting three herself.
"As a team, we all played really well and made each other look really good so it's really exciting,” said the talented 16-year-old.
Despite amassing four points from two games, the Mexicans are not yet assured of a place in the semifinals. But with a win against first-place Jamaica on Sunday, it will capture the top spot in Group A.
History is on Mexico’s side. In three previous editions of the tournament, it has always earned a spot in the final four.
Though the participating players are obviously different, Mexico has won both of its games against Jamaica in the competition by a combined score of 9-0.
CONCACAF WOMEN’S UNDER-17 CHAMPIONSHIP
All-Time Meetings: Jamaica v Mexico
July 17, 2008
at Macoya, Trinidad & Tobago
Mexico 6 (Lydia Nayeli Rangel 2’, 11’; Marciela Padilla 17’; Marylin Diaz 39’; Veronica Charlyn Corral 81’, 90)
March 13, 2010
at Alajuela, Costa Rica
Mexico 3 (Daniela Salcedo 66’, Lucero Lara 71’, Diana Gonzalez 75’