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Men's U.S. Cup

Mexico downs South Africa 4-0, sets up championship match with USA.

DALLAS (Wednesday, June 7, 2000) - Two late strikes by Mexican forward Horacio Sanchez helped lead Mexico to a 4-2 victory over South Africa tonight in front of 27,815 fans at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The victory for Mexico sets up a winner-take-all match for the Nike U.S. Cup Waterford Crystal Trophy between the USA and their arch-rival on Sunday at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. The match kicks off at 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationwide on ABC (1 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT). South Africa and Ireland will close out the seventh annual tournament with a 3:30 p.m. kickoff following USA-Mexico.

Sanchez, the nephew of Mexican coach Hugo Sanchez, came on as a second-half sub in the 79th minute, but was able to add his second and third goals of the tournament in just five minutes, both coming on clinical finishes in the box. In the 80th minute, Sanchez neatly finished a looping breakaway pass off the head of Mexico's Luis Perez, and then just three minutes later the 22-year-old forward redirected a pass from the left flank from Jaime Lozano into the far side-netting past goalkeeper Andre Arendse.

After an opening 35 minutes, in which South Africa had several chances to strike first, the Mexican duo of Jesus Olade Luis Perez combined on back-to-back goals five minutes apart to put the Tri-Colores on the road to victory.

The first goal came in the 39th minute and saw Perez slide a short pass to Olade, breaking down the right wing, who beat the offside trap and carried the ball 30 yards into the penalty area before calmly placing a shot through the legs of South African goalkeeper Andre Arendse.

In the 43rd minute, Olade returned the favor to Perez by setting him up on a short square pass from outside the penalty area. The pass sent Perez into the left side of the box where the unmarked midfielder slotted a low line-drive just inside the far post past Arendse.

South Africa scored their first U.S. Cup goal in the 52nd minute, with Benni McCarthy notching his 14th international goal by pouncing on a saved blast from Dumisi Ngobe, who's initial shot was barely kept out of the net by a sprawling finger-tip save from Mexican goalkeeper Sergio Bernal. Bernal's acrobatic save went for naught, though, when the ball rolled perfectly to the onrushing McCarthy, who slammed the ball home from four yards out.

Despite a number of chances to tie the game, South Africa iced the game with Sanchez's tallies, before South Africa's Thabo Mngomeni hit a penalty kick in 89th minute to account for the final score.

"South Africa was very uncomfortable to play against," said Hugo Sanchez after the match. "We weren't able to play our game, our technical game. It was very hard to play a continuous style, but I think quality soccer won out."

Mexico 4, South Africa 2

Lineups: Mexico - Sergio Bernal, Joaquin Beltran, Christian Ramirez, Raul Alpizar, Israel Lopez, Gerardo Torrado, Luis Perez, Paulo Cesar Chavez (Carlos Cariņo 68), Jesus Olade (Horacio Sanchez 79), Luis Hernandez (Luis Ignacio Gonzalez 68), Daniel Orsono (Jaime Lozano 79). South Africa - Andre Arendse, Cyril Nzama, Fabian McCarthy, Pierre Issa, Jacob Lekgetho, Dumisi Ngobe (Thabo Mngomeni 71), Helman Mkhalele (Arthur Zwane 85), Godfrey Sapula, George Koumantarakis (Patrick Mayo 71), Benni McCarthy, Delron Buckley).

Scoring:
Mexico - Olade (Perez) 39.
Mexico - Perez (Olade) 43.
South Africa - McCarthy (Ngobe) 52.
Mexico - Sanchez (Perez) 80.
Mexico - Sanchez (Lozano) 83.
South Africa - Mngomeni (penalty kick) 89.

Shots: Mexico 18, South Africa 17. Saves: Mexico 8, South Africa 5. Corner kicks: Mexico 2, South Africa 4. Fouls: Mexico 15, South Africa 19. Offside: Mexico 4, South Africa 2. Yellow card cautions: Mexico - Osorno 31, Alpizar 33, Torrado 52, Bernal 89. South Africa - Buckley 6, Mkhalele 17, Issa 38, Arendse 65, Nzama 91+.

Referee: n/a. Assistant referees: n/a. Attendance: 27,815 at Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Tex. Weather: 80 degrees, clear.

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