Mexico's U-20s managed to get through to the knockout stage of the World Cup but has to face competition favorite Spain in the round of 16.Mexico Under-20 coach Sergio Almaguer is confident his side can overcome Spain on Tuesday in the FIFA U-20 World Cup round of 16 matchup in Istanbul.
“We prepare to win, we have the mentality to go far in this World Cup,” Almaguer said in a press conference on Monday.
The Mexican team came into the World Cup in Turkey as one of the favorites to win the tournament, but it lost 2-1 to Greece and 1-0 to Paraguay in its opening two games. El Tri dispatched Mali 4-1 in the third game and scraped through to the knockout stage as a top-four third-place finisher, but the Mexicans must face a Spain team that waltzed through, winning all three games in what was labeled the Group of Death with France, Ghana and the United States.
Almaguer admitted the opponent is tough, but he believes his team has grown in Turkey, citing the three-goal victory over the African side on Friday.
“We’re coming into it at a good moment, the majority of the players are reaching their top level,” Almaguer stated. “However, the rival is strong.”
The Mexico coach went on to add that while his team has studied Spain, El Tri will focus on enforcing its own strengths.
“The group isn’t under pressure, it’s the reverse; it is motivated to take on Spain, it’s an extra motivation,” he said.