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Played
October 15, 2013 9:30 PM EDT
Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica — San José
Referee:‬ W. Lopez‎
Attendance:‬ 35000‎
 
25′ Bryan Ruiz
O. Peralta 29′
64′ A. Saborío
 
Top of the Match
A. Saborío
A. Saborío
Costa Rica
O. Peralta
O. Peralta
Mexico
Flop of the Match
Javier Hernández
Javier Hernández
Mexico
Javier Hernández
Javier Hernández
Mexico

Costa Rica 2-1 Mexico: El Tri takes fourth despite loss on wild night

Mexico failed to come out of Estadio Nacional with a point, but the USA's last-gasp victory over Panama secured El Tri's fourth-place finish in CONCACAF.

By Avi Creditor

Oribe Peralta, Mexico, 2014 World Cup Qualifier 10152013
Johan Ordonez
Mexico will have the chance to play its way into next summer's World Cup, but not without a major assist from its age-old rival.

As was the case during its entire Hexagonal adventure, nothing came easy for El Tri, which lost at Costa Rica 2-1 Tuesday but still finished fourth in the standings after the United States' 3-2 victory over Panama. As a result, Mexico will enter a home-and-away playoff with New Zealand next month for a place at the 2014 World Cup.

Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio, a second-half substitute, scored the winner for Costa Rica, powering a free header past Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa in the 64th minute. That goal seemed to have put Mexico out of World Cup contention after Panama took a 2-1 lead on the USA, but Graham Zusi's late goal and Aron Johannsson's winner eliminated Panama and ensured that the loss would not put a shocking end to Mexico's qualifying campaign.

Mexico battled from behind for much of the night, but not before having the chance to seize control of the game early on. Chicharito continued his struggles, failing to convert Mexico's first great chance of the night. After a sharp passing sequence sent Oribe Peralta through behind the defense, the Santos Laguna forward squared his ball to Chicharito as Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas raced off his line. Chicharito attempted to one-time his shot into the vacated net, but he scuffed it and mishit it off Peralta, who was standing in an offside position by the far post, therefore negating the strike.

Mexico was made to rue that miss moments later, as Bryan Ruiz opened the scoring. The Fulham man scored in the 25th minute, getting in behind Mexico center backs Rafa Marquez and Hugo Ayala, latching onto a clipped, bouncing ball over the top and heading the ball to create space for himself as he turned and fired a left-footed volley past a helpless Ochoa.

As of that moment, considering Panama's 1-0 lead over the USA, Mexico was out of the World Cup, but Peralta ensured El Tri would jump back into fourth place just four minutes later. Again it was Chicharito that had a potential chance elude him, as Navas came off his line to swat a ball off his foot in the area. Peralta was there to fire home a follow-up shot off the underside of the crossbar, though, to level the score.

Chicharito missed another opportunity at the end of the first half, with Peralta sparking the build-up with a ball down the right channel for Javier Aquino. The Villarreal winger crossed to the near post, where Chicharito was making his run, but he put his first-time chance into the side netting.

Chicharito departed in the 60th minute for Friday's goal-scoring hero Raul Jimenez, but not before picking up a yellow card that will have him suspended for the first leg against New Zealand.

Saborio, who replaced Ruiz in the 49th minute, put Costa Rica back ahead off a free header in front of Ochoa minutes later, which put Mexico back out of the qualification places for just a moment until the USA tied things up with Panama just seconds later.

Navas and Ochoa exchanged highlight-reel saves to preserve the 2-1 scoreline, and Costa Rica midfielder Cristian Bolanos' miss off the far post in the 75th minute did the same. With Mexico unable to beat Navas and its fate resting solely in the USA's hands, the Americans came through at the death to keep Victor Manuel Vucetich's side alive for at least two more games.

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Costa Rica

-
K. Navas
Goalkeeper
92′
3.00
8
Bryan Oviedo
Defender
2′
3.00
2
Cristian Gamboa
Defender
64′
3.50
5
3.00
-
J. Acosta
Defender
57′
3.00
-
M. Umaña
Defender
3.00
30
Christian Bolaños
Midfielder
3.00
-
Celso Borges
Midfielder
2.50
-
Y. Tejeda
Midfielder
72′
2.00
11
Bryan Ruiz
Striker
25′ 49′
3.00
11
Joel Campbell
Striker
77′
2.50

Mexico

2.50
1
2.50
4
Hugo Ayala
Defender
2.00
6
2.00
19
2.00
4
2.50
10
2.50
27
C. Peña
Midfielder
2.00
-
J. Aquino
Midfielder
66′
2.50
17
J. Zavala
Midfielder
1.00
14
3.00
24
O. Peralta
Striker
29′

Substitutes

-
P. Pemberton
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
C. Johnson
Defender
 - 
20
 - 
-
Ó. Duarte
Defender
 - 
-
2.50
-
2.50
15
3.50
-
D. Calvo
Striker
 - 
-
R. Brenes
Striker
 - 
22
 - 
-
V. Núñez
Striker
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
1
 - 
1
J. Corona
Goalkeeper
 - 
19
 - 
2
S. Meza
Defender
 - 
30
C. Salcido
Defender
 - 
8
Fernando Arce
Midfielder
 - 
6
 - 
-
1.50
17
2.00
99
2.00
9

Coach/Manager

Coach/Manager

 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
Matchday 10
Times In EDT
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Peter Byers Peter Byers
Striker
10 1
B. Pérez B. Pérez
Striker
FC Dallas
9 0
J. Bengtson J. Bengtson
Striker
New England
9 0
Clint Dempsey Clint Dempsey
Striker
Seattle Sounders
8 2
A. Saborío A. Saborío
Striker
Real Salt Lake
8 1