Ochoa makes big save to send Mexico to finals
CHICAGO : Guillermo Ochoa made a save on the third penalty kick, giving Mexico a victory over Costa Rica on Thursday night and setting up a rematch in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final with its archrival, the United States.
El Tri has been to the Gold Cup final five times, and its only loss came two years ago at the hands of the Americans. They will meet Sunday at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.
Mexico squandered several chances to put this game away in the second half and in the first period of extra time. But when it counted most, Ochoa and his teammates came up big, making each of their penalties and getting that one critical save.
Costa Rica and Mexico each scored on the first two penalties, and captain Gerardo Torrado made it three straight for El Tri. That put the pressure on Froylan Ledezma, who sent this game into extra time with his goal in the 93rd minute. As Ledezma connected, Ochoa dived to his left, smacking the ball away with his hands.
After Mexico and Costa Rica converted their fourth penalty kicks, Carlos Vela stepped up and buried the ball in the far side of the net to seal the victory.
Earlier, the United States beat Honduras 2-0.