Mexico tops United States for U-17 title in penalty shootout

Rodrigo Arangua
After a late goal forced a penalty shootout, El Tri converted all five kicks from the spot to win their third straight title at that age level.

A late equalizer from Carlos Robles and a successful penalty shootout that saw all five Mexican players convert from the spot gave El Tri its third consecutive CONCACAF U-17 title.

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The Americans had the lead just after the hour mark when Atlanta United prospect Andrew Carleton punished an error by Mexico goalkeeper Cesar Lopez for the opening goal of the title match. But with the box crowded with attackers and defenders in stoppage time, Robles nodded home a cross from Tijuana forward Daniel Valdez to force a penalty shootout.

Only one shooter of 10 was unable to convert, with United States midfielder Akil Watts sending his shot over the crossbar, which ultimately made the difference.

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The United States had topped Mexico 4-3 during the group stage of the tournament, and both teams already had clinched qualification to the U-17 World Cup in India later this year. Honduras and Costa Rica also booked passage to the tournament by virtue of finishing second in their final groups.

It's Mexico's seventh crown at this level, previously winning in 1985, 1987, 1991,1996, 2013 and 2015.