Mexico 1 (5), Costa Rica 1 (4) | 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Match Recap
It took penalties to decide a winner but Mexico beat Costa Rica 5-4 in a penalty shootout in a hard-fought Gold Cup quarterfinal on Saturday at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Raul Jimenez opened the scoring, a clinical finish to the bottom corner just before halftime. Just after the break, though, Costa Rica found an equalizer. After Luis Rodriguez brought down Joel Campbell in the box, Bryan Ruiz stepped up and sent Memo Ochoa the wrong way.
After a deadlocked 90 minutes, the game went to 30 minutes of extra time. And after the teams failed to score, the game went to penalties. Raul Jimenez's penalty, the first taken, was saved by Leonel Moreira. Costa Rica held the edge until the third round, when Randall Leal missed the goal entirely, tying the shootout. Then, in sudden-death penalties, Keysher Fuller's attempt was saved by Guillermo Ochoa to push El Tri into the next round.
Mexico will face Haiti in the semifinals.
- 44' – MEX – Raul Jimenez
- 52' – CRC – Bryan Ruiz (PK)
- THE BIG PICTURE: Mexico, entering as tournament favorites, will be chastened by the near-miss, but the name of the game in a tournament is to survive and advance, which they did. For Costa Rica, the result is heartbreaking as they took El Tri to the very brink and acquitted themselves well.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: In a mirror-image scene that echoed a disputed penalty that favored Mexico in the 2015 Gold Cup against Panama, the call against Mexico in this game could be discussed for years to come, especially with no Video Review at the tournament.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Guillermo Ochoa was up to the challenge when his team needed him, and he made four saves during the game plus the critical stop in the shootout to end it all.
- MEX: Wednesday, July 3 vs. Haiti | Gold Cup semifinal
- CRC: Out of the Gold Cup