Mexico survived a scare to advance to the Concacaf Gold Cup final, defeating Haiti, 1-0, in extra-time Tuesday night at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
Seven-time champions, El Tri reached their ninth final and will play the winner of the other semifinal between the United States and Jamaica Wednesday (9:30 PM ET | FS1, Univision, UDN) from Nashville.
After a tense, scoreless 90 minutes, Mexico finally broke the stalemate in the third minute of extra-time as Raul Jimenez converted from the penalty spot after he was kicked in the foot by Herve Bazile as both battled for a ball played into the box.
Jimenez slipped his shot to the right of Haiti goalkeeper Johny Placide, who was rooted to his spot.
As expected, Mexico played on the front foot and pressed the issue, but were left frustrated for most of the match.
In the eighth minute, El Tri had serious handball shouts when Roberto Alvarado’s cross caromed off the arm of Alex Christian, which the defender had behind his back.
Placide was pressed into action in the 35th minute when Jimenez latched onto a Rodolfo Pizarro cross and put a looping header on frame. But a diving Placide saved the shot and held on.
Haiti’s best chance came four minutes into the second half when Frantzdy Pierrot turned on Hector Moreno in the box, but fired well wide.
What a chance for Haiti!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 3, 2019
Pierrot creates some space in the box but doesn't get the strike on target. pic.twitter.com/AjYDG7RF9m
Placide did well to get a piece of a well-placed Andres Guardado free kick from 22 yards out in the 66th minute, pushing it away with his right hand for a Mexico corner.
Placide said no again in the 115th minute, slapping away a Pizarro close-range attempt. Les Grenadiers had a golden chance to level in the 119th minute, but Mikael Cantave put his shot off the crossbar, much to the relief of Guillermo Ochoa.
- 93’ — MEX — Raul Jimenez (PK)
- THE BIG PICTURE: It’s all about survive and advance at this point and while the Mexico-heavy fans wanted a few more goals, they’ll take the final result and march on to Soldier Field. Haiti gave the tournament favorite everything they could handle. It’s a stark contrast to the 4-0 quarterfinals loss in the 2009 Gold Cup.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Penal or no? You make the call.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: On a night where neither team was clinical in front of goal, Jimenez calmly finished his penalty kick to make sure El Tri avoided another nervy penalty-kick shootout.
- HAI: Out of Gold Cup
- MEX: Sunday, July 7 vs. USA/JAM, Gold Cup final (9 PM ET | FS1, Univision, UDN)