Kevin Gutierrez (#2) celebrates after scoring in Mexico's win over Uruguay in the FIFA U-20 World Cup on June 3, 2015, in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, New Zealand – Mexico’s FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign is firmly back on track after Kevin Gutierrez netted directly off a free kick in the second minute of stoppage time to give the Tricolor a 2-1 win over Uruguay on Wednesday at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
The CONCACAF champion rebounded from Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Mali, which fell 2-0 to Serbia later in the day. All four Group D teams are level on three points with one game left to play.
Gutierrez was presented with the opportunity to become the hero thanks to teammate Guillermo Martinez being fouled inside the arc by Erick Cabaco, who was dismissed for his second yellow card. Seconds later, Gutierrez expertly stroked a left-footer off the underside of the crossbar and over the line for the game-winning goal.
The strike put an exclamation mark on an action-packed encounter that featured numerous scoring opportunities.
Hirving Lozano made the most of one of those chances in the 70th minute to give Mexico a 1-0 lead. The Pachuca standout stripped left-back Mauricio Lemos near the midfield line and raced into the penalty area, before beating goalkeeper Gaston Guruceaga from 16-yards out.
Twelve minutes later, Uruguay was on equal terms. Facundo Castro delivered a free kick diagonally from the right into the Mexico box. Despite close defending, Rodrigo Amaral somehow directed on a shot on net, which goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez acrobatically saved with a dive to his right. The loose ball was stabbed into the net at the left post by the quick-reacting Mathias Suarez.
Mexico will complete group play on Saturday against Serbia, while Uruguay will take on Mali.