The game started off fairly evenly, with neither team able to dominate. There were scattered chances at both ends, but few clear-cut opportunities, with the rhythm of the game frequently interrupted by fouls: a total of 12 yellow cards were issued during the game, 10 to players and one to each coach.
The knockout rounds of the 2019 Gold Cup begin this weekend with the quarterfinals. Mexico won Group A with a perfect 3-0-0 record and will now take on Costa Rica, the Group B runner-up, on Saturday night in Houston.
Costa Rica opened their Gold Cup with a pair of victories against Nicaragua and Bermuda before suffering a surprise loss to Haiti in the final Group B game, while Mexico beat Cuba, Canada, and Martinique in Group A play.
Mexico and Costa Rica last met in the quarterfinals in the 2015 Gold Cup, where El Tri advanced in extremely controversial circumstances after being awarded a penalty kick in the final minute of stoppage time in the second half of extra time; Andrés Guardado scored the PK to eliminate Costa Rica.
A total of 11 Liga MX teams will have players in this summer’s tournament, with Monterrey the most heavily-represented club with four.
Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of the Liga MX contingent – 15 players – will be suiting up for the Mexican national team, with the remaining six players representing Honduras, Costa Rica, and Canada.
Mexico started off a little shaky, with a back pass nearly escaping Manuel Gibrán Lajud in the 10th minute for an own-goal, although the keeper was able to recover and grab the ball before it crossed the line.
El Tri is still under the interim management of Tigres UANL coach Ricardo Ferretti, while the Ticos have just announced the hiring of Gustavo Matosas as their new coach. Matosas will be watching this friendly from the stands, however, as he will not take charge until after this month’s matches.
Mexico took the lead but couldn’t hold it as Costa Rica scored late to make it 1-1. The draw mathematically guarantees the Ticos will finish in the top four, and it would require a very unlikely series of scenarios to keep them out of the top three and the automatic qualifying spots.
Mexico had a number of chances in the first half, but Keylor Navas’s heroics in goal kept the game goalless until just before halftime. The hosts had chances of their own as well, with Memo Ochoa making several important saves of his own.
Mexico mathematically qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after Friday’s 1-0 win against Panama, but El Tri will look to maintain first in the Hex – and their unbeaten record – when they travel to Costa Rica this Tuesday.
The Ticos are currently in second place in the Hexagonal standings with 14 points – three behind Mexico – and they also picked up an important win on Friday, when they beat the U.S. 2-0. They would mathematically clinch their own spot in Russia with a victory on Tuesday; they can also clinch with a draw if Panama fails to win.
The Mexican Football Federation (FMF) has announced the list of players called up for Mexico’s September World Cup Qualifiers against Panama and Costa Rica.
The roster is missing some familiar names, with Oribe Peralta and Carlos Salcedo injured and Rafa Márquez dealing with his legal troubles. Miguel Layún, who is having trouble finding minutes with Porto, is also a notable absence. On the other hand, Jesús Manuel Corona is back on the roster after “Tecatito” missed the Confederations Cup for personal reasons.
The complete 25-man roster is as follows:
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.
For Mexico’s first home game of the Hexagonal, Juan Carlos Osorio looks to have chosen a 4-3-3 formation to face Costa Rica.
Memo Ochoa gets the nod in goal for the second straight qualifier, and there are six other repeats from the starting eleven that faced Panama back in November.