Mexico beats Costa Rica in shootout, reaches Gold Cup semis
HOUSTON (AP) — Mexico beat Costa Rica 5-4 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 tie Saturday night and advanced to a semifinal against Haiti at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Raúl Jiménez put No. 18 Mexico ahead in the 44th minute and Bryan Ruiz tied the score for 39th-ranked Costa Rica in the 52nd minute with a penalty kick after he was fouled by Luis Rodríguez.
Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa denied Keysher Fuller on Costa Rica’s final kick of the shootout, sending Mexico to its seventh consecutive semifinal.
Jiménez was stopped by Leonel Moreira on Mexico’s first penalty kick, and Randall Leal sent Costa Rica’s third kick wide.
Luis Montes, Roberto Alvarado, Jesús Gallardo, Héctor Moreno and Carlos Salcedo converted kicks for El Tri, and Celso Borges, Elías Aguilar, Óscar Duarte and Francisco Calvo for the Ticos.
“The penalties definitely rewarded the one who should have won the match,” Mexico coach Gerardo Martino said. “I said it would be a final ahead of time, we didn’t expect to face Costa Rica. Costa Rica is an excellent team, but the reality is we should have won the game.”
“Today was a challenge,” Martino added. “First, because we met Costa Rica sooner and because it was the first game where we had to rectify the way we played at the risk of returning to Mexico.”
Haiti overcame a two-goal deficit and beat Canada, 3-2. El Tri faces 101st-ranked Haiti on Tuesday at Glendale, Arizona.