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U.S. U15 BNT loses to Mexico in final

Article Written by J.R. Eskilson
Published: August 20, 2017

It finished Dos a Cero on Saturday in the 2017 CONCACAF U15 Championship between Mexico and USA. However, this time it was Mexico with the 2-0 win in the title match. 

Two second-half goals from Mexico propelled the squad to the regional title from the tournament in Florida. 

USA looked like the more likely side to score in the first half with all of the chances from the opening 35 minutes. Gianluca Busio had the best look when he put his head on a corner kick from Giovanni Reyna, but his glancing effort went just wide of the post. 

Reyna had the other good look from the first half. Midfielder Gilbert Fuentes was chopped down 25 yards from goal to set up a dangerous free kick opportunity. Reyna’s effort went just over the crossbar, and the teams went into the break scoreless. 

Mexico’s first chance of the game came in the 41st minute when the U.S. defense had to scramble to block a few shots inside of the 18-yard box. Mexico had another great opportunity to score the first goal of the game minutes later, but U.S. goalkeeper Damian Las made a tremendous foot-save on a shot from eight yards out. 

Although Mexico was growing in confidence in the second half, the difference in the game came from the bench. LA Galaxy II signing Efrain Alvarez, who previously played for the U.S. Youth National Team, served up the game-winning assist for Mexico with his first touch of the ball. Alvarez floated his delivery to the far post for an easy header into an open net after Las came to get the ball but missed it by a few inches. 

The U.S.’s best look at an equalizer came in stoppage time when second half substitute forward Alfonso Ocampo was taken down just outside of the 18-yard box. Reyna was again asked to take charge of the set piece. He provided he delivery to the center of the box, but Joseph Scally’s header went over the crossbar. 

On the ensuing goal kick, Mexico booted the ball down the field to Scally’s spot. With the right back pushed up the field in search of the equalizer, Mexico cruised past the U.S. defense and beat Las for the final tally of the game. 

The referee blew the final whistle before U.S. could get the ball back in play after the second goal. The defeat ended a successful spell for this group in Florida. U.S. finished the event with a plus 12 goal differential (15 goals for, 3 goals against) and wins over some of the teams the group will face in U17 World Cup qualification in 2019.  

U.S. U15 Boys National Team Starting XI: Damian Las; George Bello, Axel Alejandre, Mason Judge, Joseph Scally; Adam Saldana, Joshua Atencio, Gilbert Fuentes; Julian Gaines, Gianluca Busio, Giovanni Reyna

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