Mexico and Spain are through to the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup after El Tri beat Jordan 4-1 to seal the fate of both the hosts and New Zealand.
The Mexicans had to come from behind to do so after Sarah Abu-Sabbah scored Jordan’s first-ever goal at a FIFA women’s finals with a wonderful solo effort in just six minutes. Though disappointed in the final outcome, the passionate crowd at Irbid’s Al Hassan International Stadium will certainly long remember the driving solo run and unstoppable left-foot shot into the top corner that gave them a shock lead.
But within seven minutes of Al-Sabbah’s spectacular opener, Mexico drew level. And if the first goal was glorious, this one was anything but, with Jordan keeper Rand Albustanji’s unconvincing punch leading to a penalty-box scramble that culminated in Jazmin Enrique bundling the ball over the line.
A work of art it was not, but the goal nonetheless served to settle Mexican nerves and, just four minutes later, they found the net again. This time the impressive Jacqueline Ovalle burst down the left and delivered a low cross which Dayana Cazares met first time, sweeping a left-foot effort into the net from 16 yards.
Christopher Cuellar’s side remained good value for their lead throughout the first half and extended it nine minutes into the second when Ovalle got the goal her overall play deserved. This time, roles were reversed, with Cazares crossing and Mexico’s No11 showing some nifty footwork to work the ball on to her left foot before driving a powerful low shot into the bottom-right corner.
There was no way back for Jordan after that and with five minutes remaining Gabriela Juarez added further sparkle to the scoreline for Mexico, heading home unmarked from yet another Ovalle cross. Mexico will now take on Spain to determine top spot in Group A, while Jordan will attempt to go out on a high by beating New Zealand in a match in which pride is now the only thing at stake.
Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Jacqueline Ovalle (MEX)