In a Group F clash with Italy on Thursday, Alvarez scored in the 92nd minute to draw Mexico level at 1-1 and seemingly secure a valuable point. But then El Tri unraveled, allowing a go-ahead goal in the 94th minute and suffering a red card in the 95th minute, resulting in a 2-1 defeat against their European foe.
Despite those ups-and-downs, Alvarez supplied quite the finish in second-half stoppage time. He collected a cross from the right, beat several defenders on the dribble and slashed home a left-footed finish to the far post.
Heading into their final group-stage game on Sunday against the Solomon Islands, Mexico likely needs a win to book a spot into the knockout round. They only have one point so far, having tied Paraguay on Monday, 0-0, in a match where Alvarez played 55 minutes before being withdrawn.
Mexico are currently in third place in Group F, and the four best third-placed teams from the six groups advance to the knockout stage. The group winners and runners-up all automatically book a spot in the next round.
Alvarez, 17, is also eligible to play with US youth national teams, but he's drifted towards Mexico in recent months. Along the way, he was one of three MLS prospects named to The Guardian’s latest “Next Generation” annual report, which highlighted 60 of the best young talents in the world.
During the 2019 season, his second as a Homegrown Player, Alvarez had three assists through 14 matches. He often drew the admiration of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who called the youngster the “biggest talent” in MLS.