HOUSTON (Sunday, June 17, 2007) -- Jared Borgetti put away a five-yard header eight minutes into overtime to send Mexico to a 1-0 decision over shorthanded Costa Rica in a CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal at Reliant Stadium today.
Mexico's opponent in Thursday's semifinals in Chicago will be the tournament's surprise team, Guadeloupe, which survived Honduras 2-1 in today's second match.
The United States, the defending champion, faces Canada in Thursday's other semifinal.
Borgetti's 43 international goals lead Mexico. Directly in front of the net, he nodded nodded Adolfo Bautista's cross home for the winner.
"I believe in perseverance and strength and that the best team will win," Borgetti told Associated Press.
Costa Rica was reduced to 10 men in the 43rd minute when Allan Aleman was ejected after being issued a second yellow card, this one for vehemently arguing for a foul that was not called.
With 30 minutes of extra time mandatory, the match continued but, moments after Borgetti scored, Costa Rica went down to nine men when Alvaro Saborio was sent off with a red card for a hard foul.
"He who wins is the best that plays, not he who can best adapt to conditions that are not favorable, and that patience helped us win," Mexico coach Hugh Sanchez said.
Costa Rica coach Hernan Medford was critical of the officiating and accused CONCACAF, the federation of North America, Central America and the Caribbean, of favoring Mexico. "We played well, but when the organization has its favorites," he said. "It's difficult."
Guadeloupe took a quick 2-0 lead. Richard Edward Socrier assisted Jocelyn Angloma's strike from 10 yards out in the 17th minute and scored himself four minutes later.
Angloma played 37 times for France's national team before retiring in 2002. He returned to represent his native country in 2006.
Carlos Pavon narrowed Honduras' deficit to 2-1 in the 71st minute, but he and Carlos Costly, who combined for seven goals in the first three Gold Cup outings, were generally shut down by Guadaloupe, a province of France.
"We paid more attention to their name and history, and didn't give them they attention they deserved," Honduras coach Reinaldo Rueda told AP. "That was our biggest sin."
Should Guadeloupe win this tournament, it might cost CONCACAF a berth in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa. World governing body FIFA does nor recognize Guadeloupe.
Guadeloupe's Stephane Auvray told AP his team's original goal was to move advance from group play to the second round. "Now we are in the semifinals and we want to win, but if we lose, we lose," he said. "We know that everybody thinks we are the small team. So we just have to play. The pressure is with (opposing teams)."
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