Mexico vs Guatemala

2 - 1
(HT 0 - 1)
Gold Cup
  • A. De Nigris 48'
  • J. Hernández 66'
  • C. Ruíz 5'

Mexico 2-1 Guatemala: El Tri slips past Guatemala to advance to the Gold Cup semifinals

Mike Stobe

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey - Mexico had quite a scare against Guatemala.  

Yes, the small Central American nation, which ranks 124th and finished third in the Gold Cup’s Group B, was the toughest competition El Tri has seen so far.

But in the end, Mexico did what it was supposed to do as it overcame an early one-goal deficit and advanced to the semifinals with a 2-1 victory Saturday night in front of a packed house at the Meadowlands.

"They know they should win versus any adversity," Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre said. "We knew it was a difficult match and a difficult opponent. The early goal was because the field was a little complicated and heavy but we knew that we would come back, and we did."

The Mexicans will now travel to Houston to take on Honduras, which defeated Costa Rica earlier in the day in a match that was decided 4-2 on penalty kicks.

Mexico striker Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez scored the game winner with an incredible one-touch goal shortly after Aldo De Nigris knocked in the equalizer at the 48th minute. Chicharito, who had a total of 20 goals for Manchester United last season, increased his Gold Cup goal total to six through four games.

Guatemala stunned unbeaten Mexico with a goal scored by Carlos Ruiz just five minutes into the game. The Philadelphia Union forward finished off a long ball from Elías Enoc Vásquez after Mexican defender Hector Moreno, who has played well during the tournament, completely misplayed the ball.

Mexico controlled possession throughout the game but couldn’t get on the board before halftime. It took a lot of banging around in the box three minutes into the second half before De Nigris was able to get one past goalkeeper Ricardo Jerez, who made a couple nice saves during the sequence.

Chicharito scored 18 minutes later off a crossing feed from Pablo Edson Barrera. Chicharito’s impressive footwork left Jerez lost as he went to make the save.

"The goal was instinct," Chicharito said. "I saw the ball at my feet and put the ball in the net."

Mexico was once again shorthanded after five of its players were suspended for testing positive for the use of a banned substance. Starting goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and defender Francisco Rodriguez were among the players suspended following Mexico's opener against El Salvador.

Mexico has outscored opponents 16-2 in the Gold Cup. Guatemala, largely considered the weakest team in the quarterfinals, was sent home with a 1-1-2 record.

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