Mexico defeats France 3-1 for third place

Mexico defeats France 3-1 for third place

Published Aug. 21, 2011 2:38 a.m. ET

Mexico claimed a third-place finish in the Under-20 World Cup by beating France 3-1 in Saturday's playoff, extending the country's run of strong tournament performances in 2011.

Ulises Davila, Jorge Enriquez and Edson Rivera scored unanswered goals after Alexandre Lacazette had put France ahead with an 8th-minute header.

The third-place finish comes after Mexico's senior team defeated the United States in the final of the regional Gold Cup tournament in June, and Mexico won the Under-17 World Cup title in July.

''Finishing third really makes us happy,'' Mexico coach Juan Carlos Chavez said. ''Of course, we expected to be playing for the title. Finishing third is not easy, but we did it.''


It was Mexico's second-best finish in the U20 event, having been runners-up in 1977. France's fourth-place finish was its best in the event.

France seemed in control from the start and was rewarded with Lacazette's opener. The goal came after Mexico goalkeeper Jose Rodriguez had stopped several early chances.

However, Mexico was level four mintues later, capitalizing on an error by French keeper Jonathan Ligali. Taking a pass from Enriquez, Davila fired a 20-meter (yard) shot that skipped off the wet pitch and through Ligali's legs.

France maintained its dominance but it was Mexico that took the lead when Enriquez broke through in the 49th, heading a shot past Ligali.

Rivera added to the lead in the 71st, heading in a cross from Davila.

France had a 21-15 edge in shots but managed to get only three on target.

The match opened in heavy rain, which stopped in the second half.