Mexico scored on two penalty kicks and with an extraordinary header to beat the USA, 3-1, in the Concacaf U-17 Championship final on Sunday.
U.S. goalkeeper Duran Ferree of the San Diego Loyal, a late addition to the roster after an injury to Barcelona academy goalkeeper Diego Kochen, with mis-timed sliding tackles gifted Mexico penalty kicks in the 8th and 90th minutes that Stephano Carillo and Isaac Martinez converted. Ferree was ejected after getting yellow-carded on each penalty-kick foul and Martinez scored his spot kick against defender Stuart Hawkins, the USA having used all five subs by then.
Mexico had taken a 2-0 lead in the 51st minute when Luis Navarrete (photo) scored with amazing header: The Toluca academy defender dived low toward a chip from Yerar Azcarate and headed the ball backward and over closely marking Tyler Hall and into the far corner of the goal
The USA, which had 56% of the possession and outshot Mexico, 16-14, attacked in waves in its comeback attempt and made it 2-1 in the 69th minute with a Pedro Soma header from Christopher Aquino's corner kick.
Keyrol Figueroa won the corner kick with a searing shot after spinning and juking past three Mexican defenders.
The USA's quest for an equalizer included shots by Aquino (wide), Paulo Rudisill (saved), Micah Burton (wide), Oscar Verhoeven (saved), Figueroa (wide), and two by Cruz Medina saved by goalkeeper Norberto Bedrolla. Also amid the U.S. surge: a shove and shirt tug by Jose Urias on Aquino in the penalty area that by referee Filberto Martinez neglected to whistle.
• Coach Gonzalo Segares' U.S. team reached the final with group wins group wins over Barbados (5-0), Trinidad & Tobago (3-1) and Canada (1-0) before beating the Dominican Republic (7-0) in the round of 16, host Guatemala (5-3) in the quarterfinals and Canada (2-0) in the semis.
• The USA and Mexico had already qualified for the 2023 U-17 World Cup thanks to quarterfinal wins, along with Canada and Panama.
• The victory marked Mexico's fifth straight Concacaf U-17 Championship title ninth overall.
• The USA won its last of four U-17 regional crowns in 2011.
• Mexico's Carrillo won the Golden Boot with eight goals. Figueroa's seven goals earned him the Silver Boot.
• Two of Mexico's three players who were born and raised in the USA, Fidel Barajas (Charleston Battery) and Javen Romero (LAFC academy), started in the final. Goalkeeper Fernando Dalgado (Real Salt Lake academy) played in one game at the tournament, Mexico's 1-1 group stage tie with Panama.
• The 2023 U-17 World Cup takes place Nov. 10-Dec. 2 in Peru.
Feb. 26 in Guatemala City
USA 1 Mexico 3. Goals: Soma 69; Carillo (pen.) 10, Navarrette 51, Martinez 90+2.
USA — Ferree; Verhoeven (Gill, 80), Hawkins, Hall, Jura (Harangi, 46); Habroune (Aquino, 63), Soma, Medina; B.Romero (Burton, 63), Figueroa, Vazquez (Rudisill, 63).
Mexico — Bedroll; Suarez, Garcia, Navarrette, J.Romero; Martinez, Alvarez (Azcarate, 46), Urias (Inda, 90+4); Lomeli (Flores, 82), Carrillo (Moxica, 74), Barajas (Arroyo, 74).
Yellow cards: USA — Ferree 8, 88; Mexico — none. Red cards: USA — Ferree 88; Mexico — none.
Referee: Filberto Martinez (El Salvador). ARs: Carlos Vargas (El Salvador), Cristian Alvarado (Guatemala). Fourth Official: Jose Ignacio Fuentes (Guatemala).
USA / Mexico
Shots: 15 / 14
Shots on Goal: 7 / 8
Saves: 4 / 6
Corner Kicks: 5 / 5
Fouls: 14 / 12
Offside: 1 / 2
Possession: 56% / 44%
U.S. scorers (7 games)
Keyrol Figueroa (Liverpool academy/England), 7 goals
Cruz Medina (San Jose Earthquakes), 3 goals
Taha Habroune (Columbus Crew academy), 3 goals
Micah Burton (Austin FC academy), 3 goals
Christopher Aquino (Tacoma Defiance), 2 goals
Ezekiel Soto (Houston Dynamo academy), 2 goals
Paulo Rudisill (LA Galaxy academy), 1 goal
Brian Romero (Charlotte FC), 1 goal
Aiden Harangi (Eintracht Frankfurt academy/Germany), 1 goal
Pedro Soma (UE Cornella academy/Spain), 1 goal