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Brave Congo beaten

The nine men of Congo were beaten 2-1 by hosts Mexico in their second match at the 2011 FIFA Under-17 World Cup on Tuesday.

The African side looked as though they may hold on for what would have been a priceless draw, but conceded five minutes from time to slip to defeat.

Congo were coming off their surprise opening match 1-0 victory over European champions Netherlands, and were certainly not outplayed in a game they might even have won had they been able to keep 11 men on the field.

Mexico netted first five minutes before halftime when Jorge Espericueta slotted home after collecting the ball at the back post.

Congo were reduced to 10 men when Cisse Bassoumba bundled over Arturo Gonzalez, who was racing towards goal, and as the last defender, Bassoumba had to go.

But the Africans drew level on 73 minutes when Bel Epako beat the offside track and kept his composure brilliantly to finish past the Mexican keeper.

Congo were then reduced to nine men when Gildas Mpassi received his marching orders for a dangerous tackle, but it looked as though they may hold out going into the final five minutes.

Giovani Casillas broke down the left side and crossed low for Julio Gomez netted the winner for the home side as he collected a brilliant low cross from Giovani Casillas, who had inevitably found acres of space on the left.

Congo should still book their passage to the next round if they draw with North Korea in their final group game on Friday, while a win will certainly seal their passage.On Wednesday, Rwanda need a win as they take on Uruguay in Group C, having lost their opener against England 2-0.

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