HOUSTON, Texas – It took every ounce of effort but Mexico is now on its way to the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup semifinals after edging Costa Rica 5-4 in a penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw between the two teams on Saturday night in Houston, Texas.
Following the match, Mexico Head Coach Gerardo Martino spoke in his press conference about the character and quality shown by his players during the 120 minutes against the Ticos.
“Today Mexico exhibited football on the field, we deserved to win the game thanks to our football,” said Martino.
“The players that came on as substitutes did very well, that allows me to have an array of possibilities,” added Martino.
In particular, Martino highlighted the play of GK Guillermo Ochoa, who had a big stop in extra time on a Jonathan McDonald shot, plus the winning save in the shootout. The Argentine boss also praised the performances of MFs Jonathan dos Santos, Edson Alvarez and Rodolfo Pizarro.
“Memo made the save of the match, when it looked like we were going home, he saved it. The match that Jona played, that Edson played, Pizarro, who created and played until the 120th minute, the truth is that I’m happy because these matches give me a lot of enthusiasm,” said Martino.
Martino also took a moment to congratulate Costa Rica for its performance and turned his thoughts to Tuesday’s semifinal in which El Tricolor will have to make a quick recovery in order to get ready to face Haiti.
“Costa Rica is an excellent team, but I think that the match we played could have been won in 90 minutes. The physical fatigue after 120 minutes of the match will be a factor ahead of our next game,” concluded Martino.