CONCACAF Gold Cup wrap: Mexico, Honduras into last four

Mexico and Honduras have qualified for the semi-finals of the Gold Cup after both won their last-eight matches on Saturday.Mexico had to work for their place in the last four as they came from behind to defeat Guatemala 2-1 in New Jersey.

Carlos Ruiz’s fifth minute opener gave Guatemala a shock lead, and they were able to hang on to their advantage until half-time.

But after the break, Mexico looked a different side and a half-time change from manager Jose de la Torre paid almost immediate dividends.

Aldo De Nigris had been on the pitch for just two minutes when he found the back of the net and the goal energized Mexico, who looked like they would go on from there and notch the victory.

Guatemala did push them hard, but a goal just after the hour-mark from Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez decided the contest and saw Mexico reach the semi-finals.

In the day’s other match, a 4-2 penalty shootout victory for Honduras earned them progression against Costa Rica after their match finished 1-1 after extra time.

After a goalless first half, the eventual winners burst out of the blocks when Javier Portillo laid on an assist for striker Jerry Bengtson to open the scoring after 49 minutes.

The lead did not last long as Denis Marshall struck an equalizer just seven minutes later for Costa Rica, and they should have taken the lead with just 14 minutes left after Honduran shot-stopper Noel Valladares gave away a penalty.

But the subsequent penalty was missed by Alvaro Saborio, and he was again the villain when he missed from the spot in the shoot-out, as did team-mate Celso Borges, handing Honduras a dramatic victory.

 


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