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Mexico preserve perfect start to World Cup qualifying at Costa Rica

Mexico preserve perfect start to World Cup qualifying at Costa Rica

Mexico preserved their 100 percent win record in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying after defeating Costa Rica 1-0 away from home.

Orbelin Pineda converted a penalty in first-half stoppage time and it proved to be enough on Sunday as Mexico made it two wins from two games in the Octagonal section of qualifying on the road to Qatar 2022.

Mexico head coach Gerardo Martino did not travel to Costa Rica after undergoing eye surgery and assistant Jorge Teller deputized him in the absence of the former Barcelona and Argentina boss.

Mexico vs. Costa Rica - Football Match Report - June 3, 2021 - ESPN

| PHOTO: Courtesy |

After an impressive 2-1 victory on Thursday in Mexico City over a short-handed Jamaica, Orbelin Pineda’s penalty kick strike late in the first half was enough to give Mexico three points despite a rough, physical showing from Los Ticos.

El Tri were underwhelming in their opening 2-1 win over Jamaica and they made another timid start on the road – Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa forced into a save to deny Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz early into the match.

Mexico had a great chance to break the deadlock three minutes later in the 18th minute after Rogelio Funes Mori found himself in a one-on-one situation with Keylor Navas, who thwarted the forward from close range.

Costa Rica 0-1 Mexico, result, goals, summary: international friendly match - AS.com

| PHOTO: Courtesy |

Visiting Mexico did draw first blood on the stroke of half-time, with Pineda scoring from the spot after Bryan Oviedo was penalized for a foul on Andres Guardado.

Costa Rica continued to push numbers forward and almost salvaged a point at the death, however, Keysher Fuller’s 92nd-minute effort rattled the woodwork.

Speaking after the match, Pineda said Costa Rica proved it difficult for them and they had to fight for the three points.

“It was a very tight match,” Pineda said. “We knew they were going to play like this [physically], it was difficult. Unfortunately, Alexis got hurt but anyone on this team who comes off the bench is ready to contribute.”

The international break is not yet over for Mexico and they seek another win on Thursday, 9 September as they travel to Panama who are coming from hammering Jamaica 3-0 also on Sunday night. Costa Rica on their side will take on Jamaica on the same day in a bid to bounce back from Sunday night’s defeat to Mexico.

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