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Mexico to target England's relatively untested defence, says coach

Kolkata, Oct 10 (IANS) Two-time champions Mexico will target England’s relatively untested back line and look to close down spaces when the two sides cross swords in a Group F FIFA U-17 World Cup encounter at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Stadium here on Wednesday.

“We followed England’s matches many times. We observed against Chile and one against Brazil. It was a tie with no goals. That gives us a clear idea that England could be vulnerable in defence,” Mexico coach Mario Arteaga told reporters on the eve of the tie here.

“So that can be attacked in many ways. Mexico are also a strong team in attack so they have to also take their prevention,” the coach said.

England recorded a facile 4-0 win over Chile in their opening encounter with Callum Hudson-Odoi, Jadon Sancho (brace) and Angel Gomes getting on the scoresheet.

The defence was not tested at all as Chile hardly broke through the midfield and could not register a single shot on target.

Mexico, on the other hand, failed to get past Iraq playing out a come-from-behind 1-1 draw.

Arteaga reserved special praise for Callum Hudson-Odoi, who played in the No.10 role against Chile behind striker Rhian Brewster, saying the Chelsea forward is an important player.

“These players are really good for them,” Arteaga said when asked about his ploy to stop the likes of Hudson-Odoi, left-back Jonathan Panzo and winger Jadon Sancho who were impressive against Chile.

“Hudson is an important player. He plays in the back of the defence of Chile. We are going to be aware of this. Apart from the defence we want to attack them in their zone and we wanna keep England far away from goal and look to close the spaces.

“We will have a full plan to defend against England and keep shape.”

On Sancho, who besides scoring the double, provided the assist for the first goal by Hudson-Odoi and was scintillating down the left channel, Arteaga said: “We are looking not only for Sancho but all the team. He is a great player.

“They also have good defenders, the central defender and a good goalkeeper. England is a tough squad but Mexico are going to plan this match to do some damage. It’s going to be complicated also for them.”

Arteaga said the torrential rain on Monday, which threatened to play spoilsport during their morning practice session, was not a hindrance at all and they are well suited to conditions like the ones in India.

“It was really nice yesterday. We had time to chill out and recover. We are adapted to these kind of issues. So for us the rain was not a big problem. We made a mix of two squads, one who played and one who will have a chance to play tomorrow,” he said.

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