ANGEL GONZALEZ ALPUCHE / AIPS* in DUBAI: Argentina represent another tough test for Mexico in their quest to retain their crown at the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013.

After beating Brazil in one of the matches of the tournament in the quarterfinals, Mexico will face a new South American test.

Although Argentina do not play such a attacking style as the Scratch d’Oro they are favourites on the basis of having reached the tohrnament as South American champions.

The Albiceleste have been outstanding since the start of the tournament, being unbeaten in Group E with two wins and a draw and seven points. They then dismissed Tunisia 3-1 in the second round in a match which represented their first major test.

In the quarter-finals, the Argentinians withstood a phsyical challenge from Cote d’Ivoire to win 2-1 in a game they should have secured by half-time. They then conceded a late goal which made the closing minutes more testing than should have been necessary.

In their five games Argentina’s primary attacking weapon has been three-goal Joaquín Ibáñez.

One of the most intriguing features of the semi-final is the confrontation between the Mexicans and Humberto Grondona, the Argentina coach.

Grondona, son of veteran AFA president Julio Grondona, worked as technical director in Mexico for four years and in 2003 took the youth team to FIFA U-17 World Cup in Finland. Mexico finished runners-up in their group then lost in the quarter-finals by 2-0 to . . . Argentina.


* AIPS, the international sports journalists association, is running a Young Reporters course at the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 with the support of the local organising committee and FIFA

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