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 results in other groups to remain in contention at the tournament.
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 but could still advance if it is among the four best third-place finishers from the six groups. North Korea was eliminated with one point.
Mexico had its best 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.
''You need goals to win and we couldn't score them,'' Mexico coach Juan Carlos Chavez said.
The result extended England's winless streak in the Under-20 World Cup to 13 matches. Its last victory was against Mexico in 1997.
''It's got to be some kind of a record,'' England coach Brian Eastick said.
More than 30 eligible players were not released for England duty by their clubs due to preseason training commitments, leaving Eastick with a depleted squad.
''Our players lacked energy and Mexico played better than we did,'' he said.
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 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.