In their first home game of the Hex, Mexico beat Costa Rica 2-0 to move into first place in the standings. The result keeps El Tri unbeaten in this round of qualifying, while the Ticos suffered their first loss.
The game started perfectly for Mexico, with Javier Hernández giving the hosts the lead in just the 7th minute. Chicharito chipped Keylor Navas after receiving a through ball from Carlos Vela to make it 1-0; the goal, his 46th for the national team, ties him with Jared Borgetti as Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer.
Mexico nearly doubled their lead in the 17th minute, but Navas was able to make the save on a dangerous shot from Vela.
But El Tri kept knocking and the second goal came just before halftime. Vela was involved once again as he sent a corner kick towards the back post; Néstor Araujo was there to head it over the line to make it 2-0.
Mexico looked comfortable in the second half with the lead, although it wasn’t all good news for the hosts – Hernández was subbed out due to injury in the 66th minute.
Raúl Jiménez, who came on for Hernández, had a pair of good chances to add to Mexico’s lead, but neither his long-range effort nor his shot from close range ended up in the net.
With the 2-0 win, Mexico reaches seven points while Costa Rica still has six.
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Mexico: Guillermo Ochoa, Héctor Moreno, Néstor Araujo, Miguel Layún, Carlos Salcedo, Rafael Márquez (Jesús Molina 61′), Jonathan dos Santos, Héctor Herrera, Oribe Peralta (Jürgen Damm 45′), Javier Hernández (Raúl Jiménez 66′), Carlos Vela.
Costa Rica: Keylor, Navas, Giancarlo González, Francisco Calvo, Johnny Acosta, Ronald Matarrita, Cristian Gamboa, Celso Borges, Randall Azofeifa (David Guzmán 61′), Bryan Ruiz, Christian Bolaños (Joel Campbell 55′), Johan Venegas (Marcos Ureña 80′).