USA Captures Historic 4-3 Win vs. Mexico at 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship

PANAMA CITY, Panama (April 26, 2017) – The U.S. battled back from an early deficit, using a brace from Josh Sargent and second-half strikes from Blaine Ferri and Ayo Akinola to capture a 4-3 win against archrival Mexico in the teams’ second game of the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. The result marks the USA’s first-ever World Cup Qualifying victory against Mexico at the U-17 level and also ends El Tri’s 25-match unbeaten streak in CONCACAF U-17 Championship play.

With six points from its first two matches at the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, the U.S. has clinched a berth to the tournament’s Classification Stage.

Playing through monsoon-like conditions for much of the game, the U.S. had to overcome an early deficit when Roberto de la Rosa slipped through to bury the game’s opening goal in the sixth minute. Sargent began the comeback 20 minutes later, displaying a wonderful piece of skill before sending the U.S. equalizer past Mexico goalkeeper Andre Alcaraz. The U-17 MNT captain then exercised on a grinding individual effort in the box to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead in the 40th minute, only to have de la Rosa head home the Mexico equalizer in the 44th.

John Hackworth’s side was unperturbed by the tying goal, as Andrew Carleton came close to breaking the deadlock in the 49th minute before setting up Blaine Ferri for the go-ahead goal in the 51st. The U.S. largely frustrated Mexico as they looked for the equalizer and caught El Trí out once again as Ayo Akinola added an insurance goal in the 84th minute.

Undeterred by the two-goal margin, Mexico continued to push and pulled one back in second-half stoppage time as U.S. defender Jaylin Lindsey’s own goal cut the deficit, but the U.S. held strong in the dying moments to earn the three points.

The win marks the USA’s first-ever victory against Mexico in CONCACAF U-17 Championship play and also officially clinches the team’s berth in the tournament’s Classification Stage. The U.S. now just needs a draw in Saturday’s match against El Salvador to finish atop Group C.

Up Next: The U-17 MNT closes out the group stage of the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship against El Salvador on Saturday, April 29. Kickoff from Estadio Maracaná in Panama City is set for 6 p.m. ET and the match can be seen live on UDN and the CONCACAF YouTube Channel.

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2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship Group C

Team

GP

W

L

D

Pts.

GF

GA

GD

x-USA

2

2

0

0

6

9

3

6

Mexico

2

1

1

0

3

9

4

5

Jamaica

2

1

1

0

3

3

6

-3

El Salvador

2

0

2

0

0

1

9

-8

x-Qualified for Classification Stage

Goal Scoring Rundown:
MEX – Roberto de la Rosa (Jesús Pérez), 6th minute:
Mexico grabbed the early lead when Lopez won the ball in Mexico’s defensive end, turned and alertly sprung a through ball for de la Rosa. The Pachuca forward timed his run well and muscled off the challenge of Arturo Vasquez before slipping his shot to the right of Justin Garces. USA 0, MEX 1 [WATCH]

USA – Josh Sargent (Blaine Ferri), 26th minute:
The U.S. response came exactly 20 minutes later and in somewhat similar fashion to Mexico’s goal as Andrew Carleton won the ball deep in the USA’s defensive end. He quickly played for Blaine Ferri, who sprayed a ball forward for Josh Sargent. Running alone up top, Sargent let the ball bounce once before a back heel flick over his defender unlocked a clear lane towards goal where he slotted past Andre Alcaraz. USA 1, MEX 1 [WATCH]

USA – Josh Sargent, 40th minute: Sargent showed why he’s the U-17 MNT captain with his effort to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead. A looping ball in from the right found Ferri, who nodded down in the area for Sargent. The forward battled Mexico captain Luis Olivas whose attempted clearance careened off Sargent and hit Carlos Robles. The ball bounced back to Sargent whose initial shot was saved by Alcaraz only to see the USA captain pounce on the rebound and scoop home his second of the match. USA 2, MEX 1 [WATCH]

MEX – Roberto de la Rosa (Daniel Lopez), 44th minute: After Jairo Torres left a through ball for Lopez on the right, the Club Tijuana attacker hit a driven cross into the area that picked out de la Rosa at the back post where he headed past Garces for his second of the match. USA 2, MEX 2 [WATCH]

USA – Blaine Ferri (Andrew Carleton), 51st minute: Just moments after Carleton nearly put the U.S. back ahead, he penetrated the Mexico box on the left before playing Ferri into space outside the area. The midfielder took one touch and then unleashed a turf-trimming drive that threaded through traffic and inside the lower left post to restore the U.S. lead. USA 3, MEX 2 [WATCH]

USA – Ayo Akinola (Josh Sargent), 84th minute: Mexico pressed forward looking for a late equalizer and the U.S. took full advantage. Collecting the ball in midfield, substitute George Acosta picked out Sargent who cleverly played a ball into space for Ayo Akinola, setting the table for the Toronto FC Academy striker to put a one-time finish past Alcaraz. USA 4, MEX 2 [WATCH] 

MEX – own goal (Jaylin Lindsey), 90+1 minute: Mexico continued throwing everything forward and after a flicked on header, substitute Cesar Huerta chased the ball down on the right and centered a low cross that saw Lindsey’s attempted clearance end up in the back of the net. USA 4, MEX 3 [WATCH] FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops
MEX – Andre Alcaraz, 49th minute:
After a series of headers in the air, Andrew Carleton latched on to the ball and played a quick combination with Ayo Akinola at the top of the box. Akinola returned the pass, springing Carleton into the box alone, but the Atlanta United FC striker’s low effort was well collected by Alcaraz.

NOTES:

- U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: April 26, 2017
Competition: 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship – Group C
Venue: Estadio Maracaná de Panamá; Panamá City, Panamá
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 83 degrees; Heavy rain

Scoring Summary:    1          2          F
USA                             2          2          4
MEX                            2          1          3

MEX – Roberto de la Rosa (Andres Perez)   6th minute
USA – Josh Sargent (Blaine Ferri)                 26
USA – Josh Sargent                                        40
MEX – Roberto de la Rosa (Daniel Lopez)    44
USA – Blaine Ferri (Andrew Carleton)          51
USA – Ayo Akinola (Josh Sargent)                78
MEX – Jaylin Lindsey (own goal)                  90+2

Lineups:
USA: 1-Justin Garces; 3-Chris Gloster (13-Akil Watts, 46), 5-A.J. Vasquez, 4-James Sands, 2-Jaylin Lindsey; 8-Blaine Ferri, 6-Chris Durkin, 14-Chris Goslin (10-George Acosta, 80); 11-Andrew Carleton (19-Tim Weah, 75), 9-Josh Sargent (Capt.), 7-Ayo Akinola
Subs not used: 12-C.J. Dos Santos, 15-Zyen Jones, 16-Taylor Booth, 17-Bryan Reynolds, 18-Indiana Vassilev, 20-Adrian Villegas
Head coach: John Hackworth

MEX: 12-Cesar Lopez; 2-Adrian Vazquez, 3-Carlos Robles, 4-Luis Olivas (Capt.), 5-Raul Sandoval; 6-Luis Gamiz, 8-Alexis Gutierrez (17-Carlos Guerrero, 78), 11-Andres Perez (19-Cesar Huerta, 60); 7-Jairo Torres, 9-Daniel Lopez (20-Alfonso Alvarado, 71), 10-Roberto De La Rosa
Subs not used: 1-Andre Alcaraz, 13-Haret Ortega, 14-Alan Maeda, 15-Andres Catalan, 16-Marco Ruiz, 18-Victor Reyes
Head coach: Mario Arteaga 

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 10 / 8
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 1 / 2
Corner Kicks: 2 / 5
Fouls: 15 / 10
Offside: 3 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
MEX – Alexis Gutierrez (caution)                   60th minute

Officials:
Referee: Jose Kellys (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Williamson (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Alejandro Camarena (PAN)
4th Official: Juan Gabriel Calderon (CRC) 

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Josh Sargent