(Photo : FIFA)
The Mexicans will look to avoid further embarrassment for their nation when they face Mali in their final group stage match of the U-20 World Cup.
2013 has been unkind to El Tri. The senior squad is underperforming in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers and was also eliminated from the group stage of the FIFA Confederations Cup. As if the embarrassment were not sufficient, the U-20 side dropped its first two matches in the group stage and sits in last place in Group D with no other choice but to win its match against Mali. Any other result such as a draw or loss would leave Mexico with no more than one point; Mali already has two points and sits in third in the group.
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Mali sits two points behind Greece and Paraguay after earning draws against both teams. The African side can clinch a top two spot with a victory over Mexico and a win from either Greece or Paraguay in the other match. A draw in the other game could still enable Mali a top-two finish with a win if it overcomes the goal differential hurdle; Mali has an even differential while the other two sides have a +1 difference. Moreover, both Paraguay and Greece have scored two goals. Even if Mali does not manage a top two finish, five points would likely make it one of the top third place sides in the tournament.
Prediction: Mali and Mexico battle to a 1-1 draw.
Start Time: Kick off starts at 11 AM EST.
TV: The match will be broadcast in the USA on Univision.