ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada – Despite Mexico dropping a 1-0 decision to the United States on Sunday at the 2016 CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship, head coach Christopher Cuellar expressed only satisfaction with his players.
The Tricolor’s seven-game unbeaten streak in the tournament may have ended with the loss, but it also showed that the squad is capable of competing at a high level.
"I'm proud of the players for applying the game plan, closing spaces, narrowing passing lanes, positioning toward our recovery zone,” said Cuellar. “The truth is that they did very well regardless of the goal against. The girls’ effort makes me very happy and I believe we are on track.
“The team never lost organization, at times sought to possess the ball and ran everything we planned for this encounter. They tried inside the field.”
The USA’s lone goal came in the 73rd minute on a well-conceived sequence that resulted in Ashley Sanchez netting under heavy pressure from goalkeeper Kelsey Brann.
"I think the U.S. goal arose in a time of distraction,” Cuellar commented. “If you lose concentration for a moment during a game, you give up a goal. The United States is a great team and you have to give it credit.”
On Tuesday, Mexico (1W-0D-1L, 3 points) will complete Group B play against Jamaica (0W-0D-2L, 0) in the second game of a doubleheader at the Grenada National Stadium. If the U.S. (2-0-0, 6) beats Costa Rica (1-0-1, 3) in the opener, the defending champion will need only a draw to secure a semifinal berth.
"For our next game against Jamaica, I think the team’s approach will be to have possession of the ball,” finished Cuellar. “We’re going to play as we like to do; have the ball, generating options, attacking on the wing. We will have more chances in the next game. We must seal our pass to the next round."