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)
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.
- MEX: Wednesday, July 3 vs. Haiti | Gold Cup semifinal
- CRC: Out of the Gold Cup