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England's fate in the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup hangs in the balance after they went down to a 1-0 defeat to Mexico in their second group game in Augsburg.
Despite having the majority of possession throughout the match, England once again struggled in the final third and their failure to create and take chances cost them dear as the Mexicans took the points through a goal just after the hour mark.
England started the game at a fast pace and sought an early goal but, apart from a Toni Duggan effort which was saved by Cecilia Santiago, most of their shots were from long distance.
Chelsea Weston, playing in an unfamiliar left back position, was narrowly off target with a long range strike while captain Michelle Hinnigan was unlucky to see a lob drift just over the bar.
Duggan and Lucy Bronze both drove shots wide but for all their good build up play, too many moves broke down with sloppy and misplaced passes and Duggan was often left isolated up front.
Mexico grew stronger as the half wore on and Rebecca Spencer needed to make a smart save from Renae Cuellar, and Mar Rodriguez could have done better when volleying wide after being left unmarked on the edge of the area.
The pattern of the game continued after the break with England, driven on by the hard working Jade Moore in midfield, pressing forward but failing to break down a Mexico side which was now posing more of a threat at the other end. Jordan Nobbs did get an effort on target as she poked a Lucy Bronze cross goalwards at full stretch but Santiago pulled off a good diving save.
The decisive moment of the game came in the 62nd minute as Charlyn Corral clipped a pass into the area for Cuellar who took one touch before drilling the ball past Spencer to put her side in front.
England responded with Nobbs curling a shot just over the bar but it could have got worse as a Mexican breakaway saw Stephamy Mayor race clear on goal. Spencer slipped as she came off her line but Mayor lost her composure and shot wastefully wide.
As the game went into the dying minutes, England thought they have equalised when Moore fired a shot from point blank range but Santiago somehow managed to turn the ball over the bar to deny the disbelieving midfielder.
Kerys Harrop headed just over from an injury time corner and it was the last opportunity for England, who need to beat Japan in their final group game on Wednesday to stand any chance of going through to the last eight.
England Under-20: Rebecca Spencer, Lucy Bronze, Chelsea Weston, Jade Moore, Kerys Harrop, Gilly Flaherty, Isobel Christiansen (sub Danielle Carter 78mins), Jordan Nobbs, Toni Duggan, Michelle Hinnigan (sub Rebecca Jane 86mins), Demi Stokes (sub Lucy Staniforth 68mins). Subs not used: Ashley Baker, Lauren Davey, Gemma Bonner, Lyndsey Cunningham, Shelby Hills, Jessica Holbrook, Abbie Prosser.
Mexico Under-20: Cecilia Santiago, Bianca Sierra, Alina Garciamendez, Kenti Robles, Natalie Garcia, Monica Alvarado (sub Olivia Jimenez 26mins), Mar Rodriguez, Nayeli Rangel, Renae Cuellar (sub Ashley Kotero 90mins), Charlyn Corral (sub Natalia Gomez Junco 87mins), Stephamy Mayor. Subs not used: Marylin Diaz, Valeria Miranda, Mirelle Arciniega, Brissa Rangel, Angelica Figueroa, Ana Cruz, Diana Sanchez.
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