(AFP) – Jul 19, 2009
DALLAS, Texas — Alvaro Saborio scored twice to lead Costa Rica to a 5-1 victory over Guadeloupe and into a semi-finals showdown against Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Mexico advanced with a 4-0 victory over Haiti as the quarter-final double-header in the regional championship drew a capacity crowd to the new state-of-the-art home of the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys.
In the first match, Costa Rica jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first 16 minutes, with a goal from Celso Borges in the third minute and Saborio in the 16th.
Armando Alonso played a role in the first two goals, passing the ball to Borges, whose bicycle kick bounced once and landed just inside the goal of keeper Marius Fausta.
"It was a great pass by Alonso," Borges said. "I didn't think twice about it. I just let the play guide me."
Saborio extended the lead when he headed in a pass from Alonso.
Andy Herron's goal on an assist from Saborio in the 47th minute stretched Costa Rica's lead to 3-0.
Guadeloupe trimmed the deficit thanks to Alexander Alphonse's header in the 64th.
But another goal by Saborio in the 71st and Pablo Herrera's 89th-minute strike sealed the win for Costa Rica.
"We started the game not concentrating," Guadeloupe coach Roger Salnot.
"We were out of sorts. Giving up two goals was a big blow. We couldn't change the course of the game."
Mexico had two goals from Miguel Sabah, who also helped out on a third.
After Haiti's Jean Dominique Zephirin blocked Israel Castro's penalty attempt in the 23rd minute, Sabah ran into the ball bouncing his way and slotted it home.
He scored again in the 63rd, taking advantage of a corner kick from Giovani Dos Santos for his fourth goal of the tournament.
Dos Santos scored a spectacular goal in the 42nd, a 22-meter blast that rocketed between Zephirin and the upright.
Another Dos Santos corner was seized on by Pablo Barrera, whose right-footed shot in the 83rd minute completed the scoring.
Mexico were again playing without manager Javier Aguirre, who was serving the second game of his three-game suspension for his role in igniting a melee during a 1-1 draw against Panama.
Mario Carrillo will again be in charge for Thursday's semi-final before Aguirre is eligble to return to the sidelines.
The spectacular 1.15 billion-dollar Cowboys Stadium was hosting its first sports event on Sunday.
So far the vaunted glass-walled facility had played host to concerts by country singer George Strait and the Jonas Brothers in June.
The second game was played before a full house of 82,252.
It was the third-highest attendance for a Gold Cup match in the United States, following the 91,255 for 1998 final between the United States and Mexico at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the 88,155 that attended the 1996 final at the same venue for Mexico v Brazil.
Thursday's semi-finals will be held at Chicago's Soldier Field. Honduras and the two-time defending champion United States booked their semi-final clash on Saturday, the United States with a victory over Panama and Honduras by beating Canada.
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