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Mexico to get U-20 title defence underway against Cuba

Published:Saturday | January 10, 2015 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke

Western Bureau:

Champions Mexico will be looking for the perfect start to their title defence when they take on Cuba in the first game of a triple header in Group B of the 2015 CONCACAF Men's Under-20 Championship at the Montego Bay Sports Complex at 3 p.m.

Honduras tackle El Salvador at 5:30 p.m. and at 8:30 p.m., Haiti and Canada will lock horns.

The four teams held various degrees of light training sessions ahead of the group's opening round of matches.

Looking for Something special

The championship will last 16 days across the two Jamaican cities, Kingston - which plays host to Group A teams and Montego Bay, Group B.

Luis Avila, the head of delegation for the Honduran team, told The Gleaner that while he expects all the games to be tough, he was looking for something special from his team.

"All the hard work will come out when we win, as it is important to start on a winning note," said Avila, whose team will be tested by El Salvador.

"It is very important to be winning from the first game and that is what we hope to do against El Salvador. All the 20 players (in the squad) are in good health, so we will put our best eleven out there," he added.

The winners of each group will advance directly to the championship match and the title winners declared U-20 CONCACAF champions.

The eventual champions and the runners-up will secure direct qualification to the World Cup in New Zealand from 20 May to June 30.

Two other qualifying spots will be decided between the second and third places of each group, which will go into one play-off match each to determine which country qualifies along with the finalists.

The Mexicans hold pride of place among teams in Group B, with an enviable record that speaks volumes of their star quality. They will be seeking a 13th Under-20 title, and beginning this campaign with a win is no doubt in the forefront of their minds.