The Mexican U19 national team earned its first win of the IFAF U19 World Championship, beating Team Japan 31-14 in a game played at the Mexican 1968 Olympic Stadium in Mexico City.
Mexico recovered from a 3-point halftime deficit after first taking a three point lead in the opening quarter on a field goal but watching as Team Japan scored late in the second quarter capping a 71 yard drive to take a 6-3 lead.
Both offenses came to life in the second half with Mexico striking first as Julio Hurtado raced 56 yards to give the Mexicans a 10-6 advantage.
As the Mexican defense began asserting itself in the third quarter, the offense put together another drive, this one for 61 yards culminating with a three yard Sebastián Hernández-to-Marco Antonio Briones touchdown pass to increase the lead to 17-6.
The Japanese team responded immediately with a 65 yard drive of their own capped with a 14 yard rushing touchdown plus two-point conversion to draw closer, 17-14.
However, Mexico had gained momentum and starting their next drive in good field position, only needed 50 yards with Alan Reyes scoring from four yards out to give Mexico a 24-14 lead in the third quarter.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Mexicans mounted a 73 yard drive which ended with another touchdowns as Ricardo Aviña threw to Omar Rodriguez from 14 yards out, sealing the win, 31-14.
Mexico will now face the United States on July 18 while Japan will take on Team Canada who defeated Sweden 49-6.