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Spain U-20 2-1 Mexico U-20: Heartbreak for eliminated El Tri

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Spain U-20 2-1 Mexico U-20: Heartbreak for eliminated El Tri
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Spain U-20 2-1 Mexico U-20: Heartbreak for eliminated El Tri

Mexico's Under-20 national team had Spain on its heels for the vast majority of their FIFA U-20 World Cup round of 16 encounter Tuesday, but a late surge from the tournament favorite cut Mexico's upset bid short in heartbreaking fashion.

Jese's deflected stoppage-time goal guided Spain to a come-from-behind, 2-1 victory over Sergio Almaguer's Mexico in their round of 16 clash in Istanbul, eliminating El Tri and clinching Spain's place in the quarterfinals of the competition.

Mexico had taken an early lead through Arturo Gonzalez, who stunned Spain with a 2nd-minute wonder strike. Gonzalez ran onto a 40-yard pass from Jesus Corona and hit a vicious left-footed volley in stride to put Mexico on top. Mexico maintained control of the game and had another chance later in the half, as Jorge Espericueta rattled the crossbar with a shot from outside the box.

Mexico and FC Dallas goalkeeper Richard Sanchez preserved the 1-0 lead in the 50th minute, extending to rob Paco Alcacer of a would-be equalizer after a nifty combination with Jese put the Spanish attacker in on goal.

Buoyed by the play of its goalkeeper, Mexico looked to build its advantage and nearly did through Corona, who was robbed of a chance to extend the team's lead in the 67th minute. He cut back on a defender inside the box and rifled a left-footed shot that was stuffed by a diving Daniel Sotres.

Spain asserted itself in the final stages of the match, though, and finally got its equalizer in the 74th minute. Derik tallied the goal, with the center back volleying home a flicked-on header by the far post off a corner kick to bring Spain level.

Spain nearly went ahead in the 79th minute, with Sanchez being forced to dive to his right to deny Denis Suarez's shot to the near post. In the 90th minute, Sanchez kept an Alcacer shot from the edge of the box from reaching the upper 90 with a sprawling save.

Sanchez could do little to stop Jese's deflected shot from 20 yards, though, as Mexico was forced to bow out despite a strong showing and Spain advanced to face either Nigeria or Uruguay in the quarterfinals.

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