BRADENTON, Florida – The Group Stage of the 2018 Concacaf Under-20 Championship is done and dusted and if there is one takeaway from the games played across the six groups, it is that the goal-scorers are shining bright in this tournament.
Look no further than CU20 leading scorer Jose Macias of Mexico.
The El Tricolor danger man poured in 10 goals during the group stage in leading Mexico to top spot in Group B.
The Chivas starlet also had a whopping 32 scoring chances and 14 shots saved.
Most of Macias’ damage was done in the first half in which he scored seven goals. He also showed he can use his head, scoring four goals via header.
Despite not qualifying for the next round, the Dominican Republic also brought a lot of punch, with the tournament’s leading assist man in Ronaldo Vasquez (5) and the player who scored the most goals in a single game when Erick Paniagua scored five goals in the first half against Sint Maarten.
Several team totals were also worthy of praise.
The United States led all teams in goals scored with 39, 29 from the run of play, and also had the most assists in the group stage with 19.
The reigning CU20 champions preferred to do the majority of their damage in the second half when opponents began to tire, scoring 23 goals in the final 45 minutes and also had three players score at least five goals during the five group stage matches: Ulysses Llanez (6), Alex Mendez (6) and Ayo Akinola (5).
But it would be unfair to overlook the performances of several teams in defense, as it wasn’t all about goals in the CU group stage.
Plenty of praise should go to Group E winners Costa Rica, who did not concede a single goal in four games and will look to fend off high-flying Honduras and the United States in the Qualification Stage.