U-17 World Cup: Mexico to face Germany in semifinals

FC Dallas Home Grown goalkeeper Richard Sanchez helped Mexico reach the U-17 World Cup semifinals on Monday by defeating France 2-1 in the quarterfinal stage. Sanchez made three saves in what was his fifth start of the tournament in Pachuca, Mexico.

The first goal of the match came in the 14th minute when Mexico’s Carlos Fierro made a run at the net before passing the ball back to the right side of the box to an open Kevin Escamilla. Escamilla finished the chance with authority to give the home team an early 1-0 lead.

Unfazed by the early deficit, France responded with a game-tying goal three minutes later. French defender Jordan Ikoko blew by the right side of the Mexican defense and fired a shot at goalkeeper Richard Sanchez. The ball appeared to knuckle and, although Sanchez got a piece of the shot, it managed to get past him and into the back of the net.

The draw survived into the second half until the 50th minute, when Mexico regained the edge. Fierro tallied the game-winner after he rounded the corner to get by his defender as he broke into the box and fired a shot over the diving French goalkeeper.

Fierro’s fourth goal of the season sealed a semifinal date with a German side that advanced after beating the USA 4-0 in the round of 16 and England 3-2 in the quarterfinals. Mexico will face Germany at 6:00 p.m. CT on Thursday, January 7 ( for the right to play in the U-17 World Cup final.

READ: Richard Sanchez's blog from the U-17 World Cup in Mexico

Scoring Summary:

MEX – Escamilla 14’
FRA – Ikoko 17’
MEX – Fierro 50’

Disciplinary Summary:

FRA – Mendy (Caution) 20’
MEX – Flores (Caution) 39’
FRA – Laborde (Caution) 45’+
FRA – Laporte (Caution) 77’
MEX – Fierro (Caution) 90’+

Mexico Starting Lineup
Sanchez, Flores, Briseno, Caballero, Escamilla (Tostado 87’), Espericueta, Gomez, Fierro, Bueno (Gracia 32’), Solorio, Casillas (Gonzalez 62’)

France Staring Lineup
Mpasi Nzau, Ikoko, Mendy, Calvet, Zouma, Tameze, Yaisien (Haller 12’, Meite 57’), Madianga, Vercleyen, Laborde (Laporte 73’), Benzia