Lincoln - Junior Ari Romero and the Mexican Under-20 National Team has advanced past the group stage at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, as Mexico is one of eight countries that has advanced to quarter finals, which start on Thursday, Aug. 28. It marks the second straight U-20 World Cup that they have advanced to the quarter finals.
Mexico will face Nigeria on Thursday at 2 a.m. (CT) in Tokyo and will play at National Stadium. With a win, Mexico will take on the winner of Friday's game between Team USA and North Korea on Tuesday, Sept. 4. The four teams on the other side of the bracket include, Germany, Norway, Japan and South Korea.
In three games during group play, Romero started each game and played all 270 minutes of the three contests. She also leads the Mexicans in assists with two.
After Mexico dropped its first game during group play against Japan on Aug. 19, it responded with a pair of shutout wins over Switzerland (2-0) and New Zealand (4-0) to earn a spot in the quarter finals.
Mexico failed to survive the group phase in 2002 (Canada), 2006 (Russia) and 2008 (Chile), before winning its group at the 2010 World Cup in Germany, but lost in the quarter-final stage to Korea Republic.
Mexico earned a trip to the tournament by placing third at CONCACAF qualifying this past March, as a 5-0 win over host nation Panama secured the bid. Mexico has taken part in four of the last five FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup tournaments, but have never advanced past the quarter-final stage.
If Mexico advances past the quarter-final stage, the semi-final stage starts on Tuesday, Sept. 4 and the finals are scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 9.