Mexico into Gold Cup semis after shootout win over Costa Rica

Jun 29, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Mexico defender Carlos Salcedo (3) scores the winning penalty kick goal against Costa Rica goalkeeper Marco Madrigal (18) in the CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer tournament at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) – Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa saved from Costa Rica’s Keysher Fuller in a sudden death shootout to put his side into the Gold Cup semi-finals after a 1-1 draw in Houston on Saturday.

Mexico, roared on by the vast majority of the 71,000-strong crowd at the NRG stadium, opened the scoring a minute before halftime when Raul Jimenez found space among five defenders in the box to spin and fire home a low drive.

Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz leveled seven minutes into the second half when he slotted home a penalty and neither team were able to score in extra time.

After both sides netted four penalties from their first five kicks Carlos Salcedo was successful with the first of sudden death before Ochoa’s save from Fuller put Mexico through 5-4.

“Mexico played football out there tonight,” said coach Gerardo Martino. “We deserved to win because of our football.

“Guillermo Ochoa made the save of the game but everyone was sensational tonight.”

Mexico will play Haiti, who beat Canada 3-2 earlier on Saturday, in Glendale, Arizona on July 2 for a place in the final.

The other two quarter-finals will be decided on Sunday when Jamaica play Panama and defending champions the United States face Curacao.

Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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