CARTAGENA, Colombia (AP) – Mexico held England to a 0-0 draw to secure a spot in the second round of the Under-20 World Cup, leaving the English relying on other results in other groups to advance.
Argentina defeated North Korea 3-0 in Medellin earlier Thursday to top Group F with seven points, three more than Mexico. England ended with three points after three scoreless draws and will wait to see if it can advance as one of the four best third-place finishers among the six groups. North Korea was eliminated with one point from three matches.
Mexico had its greatest chance with a penalty in the 14th minute, but striker Taufic Guarch had his shot saved by England goalkeeper Jack Butland. The penalty was awarded after England defender Reece Brown's foul on Erick Torres inside the area.
Mexico dominated the action at the Estadio Olimpico Jaime Moron Leon in the coastal city of Cartagena. It created most of the scoring opportunities and controlled possession throughout the match.
England's most significant scoring opportunity came in the 56th when Callum McManaman's shot from inside the area was barely saved by Mexico goalkeeper Jose Rodriguez. Midfielder Dean Parrett also threatened in the 79th with a long-range right-foot shot that just missed over the crossbar.
England, playing the tournament without dozens of its top players, also had scoreless draws against North Korea and Argentina. Mexico lost 1-0 to Argentina and beat North Korea 3-0 in its earlier matches.
More than 30 eligible players were not released for England duty by their teams currently in pre-season training.