News Matches

Mexico v Costa Rica Live Commentary, 30/06/2019

PEN 5 - 4
1 - 1
R. Jiménez (44)
B. Ruiz (52 pen)
NRG Stadium
(FT 1 - 1)


Up next for Mexico is a date with Haiti in the semi-final, while Costa Rica look ahead to facing the same opponent, only not until CONCACAF's Nations League returns in October. That's all for our live coverage, thanks for following along. Goodbye!
Mexico are through to the semi-final following a match for the ages in Houston that required extra shooters, on top of penalties, on top of extra time, on top of the 90 minutes. Guillermo Ochoa plays the role of hero for El Tri, saving Keysher Fuller's penalty after remarkably denying Jonathan McDonald the winner in extra time, as Costa Rica cruelly crash out of the 2019 Gold Cup.
MEXICO ARE HEADED TO THE SEMI-FINALS! Ochoa is the hero as he guesses right to parry Fuller's penalty, saving the day for El Tri!
SALCEDO CONVERTS! Mexico have made five in a row now as the defender gives them the lead yet again, tucking his penalty just inside the post!
IT GOES ON! The game that refuses to end! Calvo drives his penalty straight down the middle and it's 4-4 after five rounds!
CHEEKY! Mexico ahead 4-3 as Moreno stutters in his run up before bouncing a penalty into the bottom corner. All the pressure on Costa Rica now!
DUARTE FOLLOWS SUIT! Nearly an identical penalty to the one from Gallardo, and it's 4-4!
MEXICO LEAD! It's 3-2 as Gallardo coolly rolls home his penalty to put El Tri in front for the first time in the shoot-out!
HE'S MISSED IT! It remains 2-2 after three rounds as Leal drags his penalty wide of the target! Back to square one!
2-2! Alvarado sends Moreira the wrong way as he pulls Mexico level.
ANOTHER DELIGHTFUL HIT! Ochoa guessed right and got as far across as he could, but Aguilar placed that perfectly just inside the post to put Costa Rica 2-1 up!
TUCKED AWAY! Make that 1-1 as Montes gets Mexico on the board, driving his penalty into the top corner.
PERFECT PENALTY! It's 1-0 Costa Rica! Borges put everything behind that, placing it brilliantly into the top corner. No chance for Ochoa.
MOREIRA SAVES! Jimenez opens the shoot-out with a miss for Mexico! Of all people, the striker is denied and Costa Rica immediately have a leg up!
Guillermo Ochoa's outstanding save to deny Jonathan McDonald ensures penalties will be needed in Houston to determine which of these sides will be through to face Haiti in the semi-finals. It's been a gruelling, entertaining 120 minutes, with neither of these sides deserving to crash out. Unfortunately that's not how this works. To penalties they go!
A. Cruz
Yellow Card
Costa Rica
120' Cruz goes into the book for a poorly timed challenge.
119' Mexico dig deep for a final push, but their bodies are working a bit slower than their minds as their ideas fail to come off. It's all just fizzling out now, as penalties seem an absolute certainty.
117' Aguilar is full of energy, and he's sticking out like a sore thumb as a result. He's buzzing about in the Mexico end, creating all sorts of problems for a tired El Tri defence. Costa Rica are enjoying the better of play in this second half of extra time, as penalties inch closer and closer.
115' Despite being subbed off in Costa Rica’s opening two matches and playing just 10 minutes in their final group game against Haiti, Aguilar has scored more goals (2) and created more chances (8) than any other Costa Rica player in the group stage.
C. Gamboa
Yellow Card
Costa Rica
113' That's eight yellow cards now in this match - 10 if you include the two coaches - as Gamboa commits to a late, crunching challenge on Pizarro in midfield.
E. Aguilar
B. Ruiz
Costa Rica
111' Tempers boiling over once again as Ruiz and Pizarro come together and exchange some choice words, before the Costa Rica man gives way with their final change. Aguilar will come on to take his place.
110' Headed wide! Pizarro for a second time in this match takes up a great position in the penalty area, but again he wastes the opportunity, this time heading wide on the end of a Jimenez cross.
108' STUNNING SAVE! Ochoa produces a world class piece of goalkeeping at a crucial moment for Mexico, reacting brilliantly as he dives over to his left to parry McDonald's first-time effort, following a lovely setup from Leal!
106' Costa Rica get the second half of extra time underwayl
Still signs of life from both sides in that first half, suggesting there might just be a winner in this before penalties. Costa Rica, who have two fresh faces at full-back right now with those substitutions they made in the first half of extra time, still have another change to make should they wish.
H. Moreno
N. Araújo
105' Mexico make their final change ahead of the second half of extra time, as Moreno makes his much-anticipated return from injury, replacing Araujo as he's set for his first minutes of the tournament.
105' Opportunity wasted! It's Montes who takes, shooting straight into the wall.
104' Big chance coming! Alvarado makes a terrific run down the right before cutting inside and dancing along the edge of the penalty area before being tripped up by Leal! Free-kick forthcoming for Mexico from 20 yards...
C. Gamboa
J. Campbell
Costa Rica
102' Costa Rica's second change of extra time, and third of this match, sees Gamboa, a right-back by trade, take the place of Campbell.
C. Rodríguez
Yellow Card
101' A bit of frustration from Rodriguez, perhaps, who tugs back on the shirt of an opponent in midfield just inside his own half, and picks up a yellow as a result.
100' SAVES AT BOTH ENDS! Campbell has been more than up for the occasion today, and he goes on another excellent run before forcing Ochoa into a save from 25 yards. Back the other way come Mexico and Rodriguez is teed up by Montes on the edge of the penalty area, but he shoots straight at Moreira!
F. Calvo
B. Oviedo
Costa Rica
99' A second change of the match for Costa Rica sees Calvo take the place of Oviedo in defence.
97' BLASTED OVER! Pizarro takes up a good position in the penalty area as he's picked out 12 yards from goal, but lacks composure as he skies his strike!
97' Mexico enjoy a prolonged spell in attack, keeping possession deep in the Costa Rica end, but the rhythm and understanding they had all match just isn't there right now. It's all coming off a bit forced at the moment.
95' It's been a lethargic start to extra time. Fatigue is undoubtedly playing a part now, and it likely set in over the break following the 90 minutes. The players did their best to stay loose, but things seem to be a bit out of sorts at the moment.
Yellow Card
93' Martino sees red! Yellow, actually, as the Mexico boss is booked for once again straying from his technical area. It's the second time Martino has been booked in this tournament, and that means he will be banned from being on the touchline in the semi-final should Mexico get there!
91' Mexico get the first half of extra time underway!
A controversial Bryan Ruiz penalty pulled Costa Rica level early in the second half, and despite coming close through Raul Jimenez and Carlos Rodriguez Mexico were unable to restore their lead as these sides will play another 30 minutes in Houston, with the prospect of penalties also looming large.
90' + 3' VITAL DEFENDING! Campbell goes on another wonderfully determined run, leading Costa Rica forward on one last counter before extra time, but his final pull-back is cut out expertly by Gallardo, who heads behind!
90' + 1' There will be three minutes added on at the end of this match.
L. Montes
J. dos Santos
90' Mexico's final change sees Dos Santos, who was spotted clutching his hamstring minutes earlier, replaced by Montes.
88' Unlike in this year's edition of the Copa America, the Gold Cup quarter-finals will go to extra time should they remain level after 90 minutes. Into the dying stages here, and with fatigue setting in, that might be where this is heading.
86' DENIED BY THE CROSSBAR! Stunning interplay from Mexico! Pizarro plays a delicious one-two with Dos Santos, who picks out an excellent pull-back for Rodriguez, but the substitute sees his first-time effort smack off the frame of the goal!
R. Alvarado
U. Antuna
85' Antuna also gives way here, with Alvarado taking his place on the flank.
C. Rodríguez
A. Guardado
84' Guardado is on a yellow, and he seems to be dealing with some cramping, which forces Martinez's hand. Rodriguez comes on to take his place, and the competitor that Guardado is, he does not care much for being subbed off right now.
82' End to end action! It's really picking up again in Houston with time winding down on this match! Ochoa does really well to smother an inviting cross in from the left, before Moreira has to be sharp to save a Guardado effort at the other end.
Yellow Card
80' Matosas is booked! In Mexico's win over Martinique a yellow card was shown to Martino for barking at the referee from the touchline, and here it's Costa Rica's coach who goes into the book for being a bit too vocal outside his technical area.
78' Ruiz had scored two Gold Cup goals before tonight, with Costa Rica failing to win either of those matches.
76' Ouch! Alvarez catches Cruz with a pretty nasty elbow to the face. He flung his arm up dangerously to block the path of the Costa Rica midfielder, but it went unspotted by the referee as he's rather lucky to escape a booking.
74' Another opportunity from a set piece for Mexico, this one on the left flank close to the byline. Dos Santos whips in a flat, pacey delivery, but Moreira does well to punch clear through a crowd. Mexico very much on top here.
J. McDonald
M. George
Costa Rica
72' Costa Rica's first change of the night sees McDonald take the place of George up top.
70' Not this time for Guardado! He smacks his free-kick straight into the wall. Costa Rica look to break quickly, but Campbell ignores options to his right, opting to try to catch Ochoa off his line and chip him from a long way out, getting his effort all wrong.
Ó. Duarte
Yellow Card
Costa Rica
69' Duarte becomes the third Costa Rica player booked in this match, meaning he too will be suspended for the semi-final should they progress. Even more concern for Los Ticos will be this ensuing free-kick for Mexico, just under 30 yards from goal - an area Guardado is certainly capable of scoring from.
66' After failing to score in their last three matches in 2018, Mexico have scored three goals or more in all seven of their games in 2019, amassing 26 goals in the process.
64' The shooting gallery continues as Mexico are throwing everything towards goal here following Costa Rica's equaliser. Guardado is the latest to try his luck from distance, not missing by a whole lot at the far post.
62' CLOSE! Another delightful attack from Mexico, this time down the right flank as Rodriguez bursts forward and drives in a terrific low delivery for Jimenez, but he drags his first-time effort just wide of the far post!
K. Fuller
Yellow Card
Costa Rica
61' Fuller slides through the back of Dos Santos in a cynical attempt to break up an attack, and that will see him into the book. Mexico are upset with the referee here though, as they feel they should have been able to play the advantage.
58' WHAT A HIT! Jimenez unleashes an absolute rocket from outside the area, forcing Moreira into a stunning save! Outstanding from both striker and goalkeeper there, as these sides continue to put on quite the show!
56' Costa Rica have won just one of their last 19 matches against Mexico across all competitions.
54' What a major talking point that is. If Costa Rica go on to win this game, that's going to be picked apart, frame by frame. Was there contact? Yes. Was it a foul? Probably. Did the contact occur in the penalty area? Absolutely not.
B. Ruiz
Penalty Goal
Costa Rica
52' PARITY RESTORED! It's 1-1 in Houston! Ruiz keeps his cool as he converts the penalty, and it's game on now!
L. Rodríguez
Yellow Card
51' A small consolation for Rodriguez is the fact that he sees a yellow, not a red. He did make contact with Campbell's shooting foot, preventing him from making clean contact, but the foul did look like it happened outside the area.
50' PENALTY TO COSTA RICA! Campbell shows remarkable determination and does brilliantly to win the ball from a pair of Mexico defenders, bursting between them and behind the defence before going to ground following a challenge from Rodriguez! There really didn't appear to be that much contact, though. And did the foul occur outside the penalty area? Of course there's no VAR, so the decision will stand.
48' No substitutions at the interval, as was expected with neither side needing to make any changes, but this half has started a bit slower. The intensity was so high in those opening 45 minutes, that it's going to take some time for them to get back to it.
46' Costa Rica get the second half underway!
Everything to play for in the second half, surely, with Costa Rica proving they have what it takes to not only keep up with, but get after this Mexico side. They're playing with a terrific intensity, and despite that Jimenez strike, this one feels far from over.
Raul Jimenez has Mexico in front following a wildly entertaining opening 45 minutes in Houston, giving El Tri the lead at the end of a wild sequence on the stroke of half-time. Mexico have looked sharp in possession, but it's Costa Rica who had come closest before Jimenez's opener, with Borges striking the woodwork and George dragging a strike wide at the end of a threatening counter.
45' Despite a number of stoppages, there will be just one minute added on at the end of this first half.
R. Jiménez
44' MEXICO SNATCH THE LEAD! Jimenez makes it 1-0! Outstanding, end to end football in Houston! Crucial blocks put in at both ends before Mexico break again, with Pizarro picking out Jimenez in the area, who eventually beats Moreira, showing some excellent footwork to tee himself up for the strike after his initial effort was blocked!
42' Five of Costa Rica’s seven goals in the group stage were scored in the first half of their matches, while all three they conceded came in the second half.
40' For as well as Mexico have looked at times, Costa Rica have arguably made more of their opportunities in attack. El Tri have asked some really good questions going forward, but Los Ticos always seem to come up with the answer in time.
38' HOW CLOSE WAS THAT?! What a chance for Costa Rica! George is sprung into space down the left and he does brilliantly to skip beyond Salcedo. He drives a shot across the face of goal that misses the target, but is kept alive and driven back into the box again for George, who smartly lays it off for Borges, with the midfielder smacking a first-time effort off the post! The offside flag was raised on George the second time of asking there, though, so Borges' effort would not have counted.
36' This has been a really strong show of discipline from Costa Rica, who have done well to stay organised in defence. Mexico are trying to use all the channels to lure Los Ticos out of position, but they're not biting.
J. dos Santos
Yellow Card
34' A second booking of the match shown to a Mexico player as Dos Santos is booked for a foul high up the pitch on Cruz.
33' Costa Rica have been eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the Gold Cup in five of their last seven appearances at the competition (2005, 2007, 2011, 2013 & 2015), whilst they have won just one of their last six knockout games at the tournament (D2 L3) – a 1-0 victory against Panama at this stage of the 2017 competition.
31' OFF THE WOODWORK! Finally the free-kick is taken and it's Borges who gets it up and over the wall, with it maybe taking the slightest of deflections on its way through, before grazing the near post as it drifts behind for a goal kick! Lovely hit, but just the wrong side of the post for Costa Rica.
30' The referee needs to calm things down and restore order. Mexico continue to argue about the distance their wall is from the spot of the free-kick, and as they inch forward, Costa Rica argue back. Everyone is having their say, and the referee is losing control.
28' Campbell does well to win a free-kick for Costa Rica in a very threatening position, as a result of a handball. Pizarro stands right in front of the ball as Costa Rica are trying to set things up, as Ruiz lightly shoves him away. Pizarro responds with a much more emphatic push back, prompting a large gathering of players as tempers begin to boil over.
26' Costa Rica have done well to pull themselves back into the match and disrupt Mexico's rhythm, just as El Tri really seemed to be kicking it into high gear. Los Ticos are enjoying some decent possession of their own now, starting to show a bit more willingness to get some men forward.
B. Ruiz
Yellow Card
Costa Rica
24' A blow for Costa Rica who just slides in a fraction of a second too late on Alvarez as he picks up a yellow card. It's his second booking of the tournament, meaning he will be suspended for the semi-final should the advance.
23' Mexico won all three of their group stage matches at this year’s Gold Cup, netting 13 goals in the process – the last time they won all of their group games at a Gold Cup tournament they went on to lift the trophy, beating USA 4-2 in the 2011 final.
C. Salcedo
Yellow Card
21' A ball is played over the top for George to chase, and Salcedo senses he's beat so he takes out the striker with a really cynical challenge right at the halfway line. Salcedo has to be more aware there and see what Costa Rica are trying to do, being alert to close it down and not get beat like that. Even more important now, as he will play the rest of this match on a yellow.
19' There's a great intensity to this match as both sides are certainly looking up for the occasion. Costa Rica are playing very physical all over the pitch, while Mexico are knocking about wonderfully. El Tri have developed a really nice rhythm in possession here.
17' Well this is certainly a concern for Costa Rica. Borges is the man who pulls their strings - their tactical maestro in midfield - and he's left laid out on the ground after taking that cross off his face. Finally he's able to receive treatment as play is brought to a halt, and he's going to need some real attention from the training staff as there's blood leaking from his nostrils.
15' Delightful interplay! Mesmerising stuff from Mexico on the front foot, as they carve Costa Rica open in defence with some delicious one-touch passing and clever movement off the ball. Only a last-ditch clearance, and a block from Borges - who was struck in the face by an attempted cross - keeps Mexico out.
13' Mexico get a bit too cute from a corner as they play it short before trying to work it into the penalty area, but Costa Rica are wise to it. Again, that could be an instruction from Martino, due to the height of Costa Rica at the back.
11' Mexico are unbeaten in their seven Gold Cup matches against Costa Rica (W5 D2), with five of those encounters being played in the knockout stages of the competition – only USA against Costa Rica (8) have played more games against a specific opponent in the competitions history without ever suffering a defeat.
9' Decent chance! That's the threat Costa Rica do pose, with their height creating mismatches from set pieces. Waston rises to meet a delivery in from the left, but he gets the contact wrong as his header sails over the bar. He needs to be doing better there.
7' Mexico have began this match with an encouraging sense of urgency, keen to push the pace and get after a Costa Rica side that are set up to defend and counter. Los Ticos are going to be playing a lot of balls over the top for their attackers to chase.
5' OUTSTANDING STRIKE! Dos Santos shows good vision and quickness to win the ball high up the pitch, poking it forward before driving a blistering effort at distance from 25 yards that Moreira gets his fingertips to at full stretch!
3' The first opportunity to attack presents itself to Mexico, as they win a free-kick in a threatening area down the left flank. Costa Rica do well to deal with the initial delivery, before an offside flag eventually relieves the pressure completely.
1' AND THEY'RE OFF! Mexico in black as they get the match underway, with Costa Rica in white.
Gustavo Matosas makes three changes following the surprise defeat to Haiti, with two of those coming in defence as he restores the experienced duo of Oscar Duarte and Bryan Oviedo. The other change comes up top as Mayron George is preferred to Alvaro Saborio, with the 37 year old dropping to the bench.
After rotating his squad a bit in the win over Martinique, Gerardo Martino has reverted back to a more familiar starting line-up. Nestor Araujo is restored alongside Carlos Salcedo in defence, with Hector Moreno still not fit enough to start. Jonathan dos Santos comes into to midfield, while Rodolfo Pizarro joins the front three having impressed off the bench with an assist in their last match.
SUBS: Giancarlo Gonzalez, Bryan Segura, Elias Aguilar, Yeltsin Tejada, Alvaro Saborio, Cristian Gamboa, Francisco Calvo, Jonathan McDonald, Ronald Matarrita, Christian Bolanos.
COSTA RICA (4-5-1): Leonel Moreira; Keysher Fuller, Oscar Duarte, Kendall Waston, Bryan Oviedo; Joel Campbell, Randall Leal, Allan Cruz, Celso Borges, Bryan Ruiz; Mayron George.
SUBS: Jonathan Orozco, Roberto Alvarado, Hugo Gonzalez, Alexis Vega, Cesar Montes, Carlos Rodriguez, Hector Moreno, Orbelin Pineda, Luis Montes, Erick Gutierrez, Diego Reyes, Fernando Navarro.
MEXICO (4-3-3): Guillermo Ochoa; Luis Rodriguez, Nestor Araujo, Carlos Salcedo, Jesus Gallardo; Jonathan dos Santos, Andres Guardado, Edson Alvarez; Uriel Antuna, Rodolfo Pizarro, Raul Jimenez.
While Los Ticos have represented the federation at the World Cup with regularity over the last two decades, their Gold Cup resume has left plenty to be desired, last reaching the final in 2002 and last winning in 1989.
In their way of a semi-final berth is a Costa Rica side that, while not as strong as they have been in recent years, are consistently in the conversation of the best teams in CONCACAF.
Of course Mexico’s strong start should be taken with a grain of salt, as they have developed something of a reputation for peaking too early at major tournaments, and are set for their toughest test to date tonight.
Despite missing several regulars, Mexico looked a well-oiled machine as they cruised through the group stage with three wins from three, reinforcing themselves as favourites to lift the trophy next week in Chicago.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of this Gold Cup quarter-final as Mexico clash with Costa Rica at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas!