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Mexico survives in FIFA under-20s – but just barely

Jun 29, 2013, 10:40 AM EDT

Richard Sanchez

First, Mexico fell immediately out of the Confederations Cup. Grouped with Italy and Brazil, it was always going to be tough on Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre’s team.

But combined with the team’s pedestrian performance in final stage World Cup qualifying, it starts to add up.

Across the world in Turkey, the United States under-20 team failed to get out of group play in the FIFA tournament for young pros. (The players in Turkey are mostly 19 and 20, but the majority are already signed by professional teams.)

(MORE: U.S. out after big loss to Ghana)

El Salvador also fell out of the group stage.

Mexico did, at least, sneak out of group play in Turkey – but just barely.

After losses to Greece and Paraguay, the Mexicans advanced into the elimination phase with a 4-1 win Friday over Mail. Mexico (backstopped, by the way, by FC Dallas goalkeeper Richard Sanchez) will play in the Round-of-16 on July 2 or 3.

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