Mexico made 10 changes to the lineup that drew 0-0 with Jamaica on Thursday, with only Orbelin Pineda making a second consecutive start. Curaçao made five changes from their loss to El Salvador, and it was Curaçao who started the game off better.
The Group C minnows kept Jesús Corona busy in Mexico’s goal, and they came close to snatching what would have been a shock lead in the 14th minute, only for Corona to make the save on Gino van Kessel.
Then, against the run of play, Mexico opened the scoring in the 22nd minute. Raúl López got free on the right and sent in a cross for Ángel Sepúlveda, who headed it home at the back post to make it 0-1 for El Tri.
Despite falling behind, Curaçao continued to press and they hit the woodwork twice in the second half as they searched for their first goal of the tournament.
Mexico looked for an insurance goal, but keeper Eloy Room repeatedly denied them – and Jair Pereira hit the crossbar – before Edson Álvarez finally made it 0-2 in stoppage time with his first goal for the national team.
With the 2-0 win, Mexico reaches seven points while Curaçao still has on zero.
Mexico advances to the quarterfinals to face Honduras, while Curaçao is eliminated.
Group Standings – Group C
Curaçao: Eloy Room, Shanon Carmelia, Quenten Martinus, Ayrton Statie (Rangelo Janga 90′), Darryl Lachman, Michael Maria, Dustley Mulder, Leandro Bacuna, Gino van Kessel, Jarchinio Antonio (Ashar Bernardus 72′), Gevaro Nepomuceno (Elson Hooi 83′).
Mexico: José de Jesús Corona, César Montes, Jair Pereira, Luis Reyes, Luis Rodríguez (Elías Hernández 58′), Jorge Hernández, Erick Gutiérrez, Orbelín Pineda (Jesús Gallardo 75′), Martín Barragán (Edson Álvarez 66′), Ángel Sepúlveda, Raúl López.