Reigning gold medalists Mexico saw their Olympic soccer campaign come to an abrupt, early halt with a 1-0 loss to South Korea. That result sees El Tri finish third in Group C and fail to advance to the knockout rounds. South Korea tops the group and is joined in the quarterfinals by Germany.
With the Germans crushing Fiji 10-0, Mexico needed to win this game to advance. They enjoyed more possession in the first half and kept the Koreans largely in their own defensive third; however, they were unable to capitalize on their chances as César Montes, Michael Pérez, Erick Torres, and Marco Bueno were all denied.
The final matches of Group C will be played concurrently on Wednesday afternoon. South Korea and Mexico both have four points, with the Koreans ahead on goal difference, followed by Germany with two and Fiji with none.
Mexico is guaranteed a spot in the quarterfinals with a victory against South Korea or a Germany loss or draw.
Other scenarios that would see Mexico advance are a draw and Germany failing to win by four or more goals; or a loss and a Germany loss or draw.
Mexico defeated Fiji 5-1 in the second match of Group C, but the scoreline belies the effort El Tri had to put into the match. The Fijians took the lead and held it for nearly 40 minutes before a póker by Erick Gutiérrez turned things around for the Mexican U-23s.
Fiji gave Mexico’s defense a scare early on with a headed chance, and then in the 10th minute captain Roy Krishna gave them the lead. Krishna beat his defender and goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera to a lofted ball at the edge of the box and he headed it into the empty net to give Fiji the shock 1-0 lead and their first goal of this Olympic tournament.
Two teams looking for their first win – but coming off very different opening results – will face off here in the second round of Group C games at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Mexico drew 2-2 with Germany on Thursday while Fiji was demolished 8-0 by South Korea. The Fijians will be facing another tough game here against the reigning gold medalists, who will be eager to snap up all three points.
Mexico twice took the lead but ultimately failed to hold it as they played out an exciting 2-2 draw with Germany in the opening match of Group C. The heavy rain and perhaps some tournament-opening nerves resulted in a fairly stagnant first half, but the game burst to life in the second 45.
In the 52nd minute, Oribe Peralta – whose goals in the London 2012 final gave Mexico the Olympic gold – opened the scoring. Peralta met a corner kick and sent his header into the top corner to make it 1-0 for the El Tri U-23s.
The Mexican U-23 team is the reigning Olympic champion, having won the gold medal in London 2012, and they will look to get their title defense off to a good start against Germany on Thursday afternoon.
Raúl Gutiérrez will coach the Olympic squad, which is made up entirely of Mexico-based players with the exception of Erick Torres, who plays in MLS. Primarily a U-23 team, three overage players are allowed, and Gutiérrez has selected Alfredo Talavera (age 33), Jorge Torres Nilo (28), and Oribe Peralta (32) as his overage players.
Mexico fell 1-2 to Costa Rica in their final group stage match, a result that ensures that El Tri Femenil will not be present in this summer’s Rio Olympics.
Costa Rica advances to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament with the win. Should Las Ticas win the semifinal, they will reach the Olympics for the first time in their history.
Mexico needed just a draw to advance, while Costa Rica needed to win. The Ticas started the game off stronger and they opened the scoring in just the 9th minute, when Raquel Rodríguez corralled a cross and sent her low shot past Cecilia Santiago. Continue reading →
Their final group stage match is a crucial one for both the Mexican and the Costa Rican women’s national teams. The U.S. has already claimed one of the two top spots in Group A; Puerto Rico is eliminated from contention. That leaves Mexico and Costa Rica in a head-to-head duel for advancement.
The winner of this game will move on to the semifinals, where a win would send them to this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio. The loser will go home. Continue reading →