Mexico’s Javier Hernandez celebrates after scoring against Costa Rica during their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match in Mexico City on March 24, 2017. (Credit: AFP/Getty Images / ALFREDO ESTRELLA)

Q SPORTS  – The pre-game hype said Mexico had to come out on the attack if they were to keep the Ticos (Costa Ricans) at bay in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifier in Mexico City on Friday night.

And that they did.

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa spreads his arms during a 2018 Russia World Cup qualifying soccer match between Mexico and Costa Rica at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, Friday, March 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

The first goal came in the seventh minute, when Javier Hernandez got one past Costa Rica’s unstoppable (not so much last night) Keylor Navas, followed up by a second by Néstor Araújo at the 45 minute mark, as Mexico kicked their way to 2-0 win against Costa Rica.

Costa Rican supporters wait for the beginning of their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match against Mexico in Mexico City on March 24, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / RONALDO SCHEMIDTRONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

 

A fan of Costa Rica soccer team waves a national flag prior to a 2018 Russia World Cup qualifying soccer match between Mexico and Costa Rica at Azteca stadium in Mexico City, Friday, March 24, 2017.

The Ticos tried in the first half with couple of nail-biting attempts missed, like that by Joel Campbell (Costa Rica) from a left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Or Bryan Ruiz left footed shot from more than 35 yards is high and wide to the left.

Mexico’s Nestor Araujo, left, heads the ball as Costa Rica’s Joel Campbell pressures him during a 2018 Russia World Cup qualifying soccer match at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, Friday, March 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Going into the second half, the Ticos had lost steam, never recovering from the two goals in the previous half.

For most of the second half of the 90 minute play, the Costa Rican’s had a hard time getting past the middle field, the Mexicans almost like toying with their prey, passing ball up and down, from left to right, giving the Ticos the occasional taste of the ball.

Mexico’s Jurgen Damm, left, and Costa Rica’s Ronald Matarrita fight for the ball during a 2018 Russia World Cup qualifying soccer match between Mexico and Costa Rica at Azteca stadium in Mexico City, Friday, March 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

The win by Mexico drops Costa Rica to second place with six points (the same number they had going in), behind Mexico now with seven.

Mexican players wait for the beginning of their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match against Costa Rica in Mexico City on March 24, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / RONALDO SCHEMIDTRONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

In the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, Panama is in third; the United States in fourth, after Friday night’s 6-0 win over Honduras, a big feat for the Americans considering their opponent was led the Colombian, JorgeLuis Pinto, the same coach to take Costa Rica to the World Cup 2014 quarter finals; Trinidad and Tobago in fifth; and Honduras in last place.

Players of Costa Rica national team, La Seleccion or Sele pose for pictures before the start of their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match against Mexico in Mexico City on March 24, 2017.

The next CONCACAF game for the Sele is Tuesday (March 28) against Honduras, 3:05pm local time.

More photos of Friday night’s game available on Newsday.com


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