Gold Cup 2015: Mexico Thrive On Last-Second Penalty Against Costa Rica
Mexico is destined to pull off dramatic finishes in this edition of the Gold Cup. After a thrilling 4-4 draw against Trinidad and Tobago, El Tri registered an emphatic 1-0 win over Costa Rica on Sunday in the quarterfinals.
The Mexicans dominated the proceedings throughout the game but couldn’t find the target till the last second of the second session with extra time, when they were awarded a spot-kick.
Skipper Andres Guardado converted from the spot after a controversial decision was given in Mexico’s favor. Roy Miller was pulled up for a questionable infringement on Oribe Peralta. The few Costa Rica fans, who were outnumbered heavily by the huge Mexican fans in the crowd of 74,187, were angry over the decision.
El Tri now will head to Atlanta to face Panama in the semifinals of the Gold Cup, a match scheduled on Wednesday.
Playing behind a weak back-four, Mexican custodian Guillermo Ochoa pulled of a number of quality saves to keep the citadel intact in regulation time at Metlife Stadium, New Jersey. The Malaga player produced a mercurial save early in the game to deny Costa Rica. Skipper Guardado was arguably the best player of the match, creating smart moves and essaying key final passes, which his teammates failed to capitalize on. Mexico’s success in the latter stage of the tournament rests on the shoulder of its veteran captain.