2017 U17 World Cup, Group Stage

Mexico reach knockouts despite goalless draw

Tom Dulat - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Two-time champions Mexico played out a goalless draw against Chile in a high-intensity Group F game that was enough for them to qualify to the knockout stages of the FIFA U-17 World Cup at the Indira Gandhi stadium in Guwahati on Saturday.

Mexico ended their group engagements with just two points finishing third behind England and Iraq. They still qualified as one of the four best third-placed teams.

The Central American champions are the only side in this edition to qualify to the round of 16 without a win. Chile on the other hand, who needed a win on the night, crashed out of the tournament with the draw.

The first goalless draw of the World Cup so far was dominated by Mexico with 77 % possession and 25 shots on goal to Chile's 8 shots. Somehow the Mexicans couldn't find the net with an extraordinary chance hitting the bar in the dying minutes of the game with Chile's keeper Julio Borquez nowhere in sight.

In search of a goal, all of Chile's 11 players, including Borquez pressed into attack. But Borquez lost the ball well outside the box and Mexico's De La Rosa had all the time to slot the ball home but he hit the crossbar.

But overall Borquez produced a phenomenal display guarding his goal and denying Mexico any chance of a goal.

Jairo Torres and Roberto de la Rosa were in the thick of things in most of Mexico attacks, but Borquez kept all chances at bay.

De la Rosa, Diego Lainez and Luis Olivas came close in a span of six minutes early in the first half, but it was Borquez's heroics that denied all three chances. He continued to make a string of saves in the second-half with Torres coming close once again late in the game.

It was not to be for Mexico as they failed score despite their complete dominance, but they were not left to rue their chances as they still progressed to the round of 16.