Ochoa the hero as Mexico outlasts Costa Rica in penalties

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For the many United States men’s national team fans left unimpressed by the club’s slim victory over Honduras in the CONCACAF Nations League semifinal round on Thursday, well, Mexican fans would like you to hold their cerveza.

Mexico couldn’t find a goal over 90 minutes against Costa Rica in its semifinal, but Memo Ochoa made the only save of penalties after both teams had a shooter miss the frame.

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Uriel Antuna missed Mexico’s first penalty of the shootout, but Oscar Duarte missed Costa Rica’s second and it was 4-4 after five rounds. Ochoa made a very good save on Allan Cruz in the sixth round to send El Tri into Sunday’s final versus the U.S.

Tata Martino’s men were superior, for sure, keeping 59 percent possession and holding a 13-6 edge in shot attempts, but Los Ticos goalkeeper Leonel Moreira and his men kept a zero on the board and forced penalties.

The USMNT and Mexico kickoff at 9pm ET Sunday in a match which will decide the first winner of the CONCACAF Nations League. The third-place game between Costa Rica and Honduras kicks at 6:30pm ET.

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