By Robert H. Kelly
HOUSTON, TX. (June 17, 2007) Playing before a sell out crowd in Reliant Stadium, Mexico defeated Costa Rica 1-0 in overtime in the first game of a doubleheader that would determine one of the two additional semifinalists of the Gold Cup 2007.
USA and Canada had already qualified to meet in the first semifinals at Soldier Field in Chicago on June 21. Mexico will now face the winner of the Honduras-Guadeloupe matchup in the second game of the semifinals double header.
The first half saw spirited play, with neither team able to find the goal. Superior goalkeeping by Costa Rica’s Jose Francisco Porras (Deportivo Saprissa) kept Mexico at bay well into the second half.
With the score tied at 0-0 at the end of regulation play, both squads went to a thirty minute overtime with each focused finding the goal and advancing to the semifinal round.
Play remained steady until the 67th minute when attacker Jared Borgetti (CD SC Cruz Azul) headed a pass from Adolfo Bautista past Porras to take the score to 1-0.
Seven yellow cards were issued in the game, including two to Costa Rica’s Allan Aleman, who was ejected from the game.
A red card was also issued to Costa Rica’s Mario Camacho in the 120th minute.
The game saw spirited play, with each team attempted on numerous occasions to find the goal.
In a match that could be described as a defensive battle, as neither team could find the offense needed to take the lead in regulation.
Costa Rica, which was forced to play a man down after the red card ejection of Aleman, never could seem to find the offensive punch that was needed to get past Mexico.
Mexico on the other hand, was also unable to get their offense moving, despite playing a man up since the 44th minute.