Andres Guardado Carlos Salcido

El Tri's Triple Win

1:24 AMAleks Vee

Some teams concede from set pieces; others create them.

Mexico players celebrate Zavala's goal. Photo: AFP PHOTO/Ezequiel Becerra
A speedy though somewhat result-less first half would have left any fan begging for goals, if not for Carlos Salcido's brilliant move a few minutes before the halftime whistle. Mexico's substitution earlier on did not slow down El Tri. Andres Guardado's corner kick resulted in a header that Salcido picked up and buried in the net. Joel Campbell's last-minute counter for Costa Rica went wide, leaving El Chepo's team in the lead. Mexico kept up the pace and scored again from a Guardado set piece. This time, Jesus Zavala took it to the next level by netting the ball in. Guardado himself had a shot that hit the crossbar after a one-handed save by Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas, providing for a very stunning moment. A free kick by Guardado followed soon after, and was masterfully saved by Navas as well. The Costa Ricans had a few attempts that either went wide of the net or were prevented by the Mexican defense from ever being fulfilled. The home team was eager to get the ball in, but desire alone doesn't score goals. Chicharito wasn't as present for Mexico in today's game as he could have been, sending the ball over the bar and not really doing much on the field at all. He was subbed off late into the second half for Marco Fabian. Costa Rica seemed to have scored, but the referee disallowed the goal for a very apparent offside. Javier Aquino lost the ball near the end line; a scuffle occurred between players of both teams after an incident in which Oribe Peralta, who picked the ball up after Aquino, tried to shoot it with the Costa Rican keeper at his feet. The home team failed to net any more balls in, and El Chepo's squad ended the game with an important victory.

Andres Guardado is Man of the Match with 2 assists. There's a reason Andres is always featured in that commercial with the cheetah.

With a win, Mexico will have 9 points, going unbeaten for 3 consecutive games. Costa Rica will retain the second place spot in the group.

The Mexican National Team's win raises questions as to the U.S.A.'s historic win at Azteca. Was the Yanks' triumph a sign of things to come, or simply a fluke? Perhaps if these two teams face off sometime in the quest for the World Cup, we'll finally know the answer.

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil - Qualifiers
Friday, September 7, 2012, 10:00PM ET
Group B - Round 3
Costa Rica vs. Mexico - 0:2 (0:1)
Referee: Roberto Moreno (Panama)
Arena: Estadio Nacional (San Jose, Costa Rica)
0:1 Carlos Salcido (Asst. Andres Guardado) ('43)
0:2 Jesus Zavala (Asst. Andres Guardado) ('52)

Group B standings:
Mexico: 3-0-0, 9 pts
Costa Rica: 1-1-0, 4 pts
El Salvador: 0-2-1, 2 pts
Guyana: 0-1-2, 1 pt

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