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Mexico set to face Costa Rica in Estadio Saprissa

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As important as Saturday night's match vs. El Salvador is to the U.S. national team's quest to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, another match that night will also have serious ramifications.

Mexico is traveling to Estadio Saprissa to take on Costa Rica on Saturday (10pm, Telemundo) in the match-up of the night in CONCACAF. Costa Rica is currently leading the group with 12 points while Mexico sits in fourth place with nine. A victory for 'Los Ticos' would push Costa Rica to the brink of qualifying, while also putting a serious dent in Mexico's attempt to rally from a disappointing start to the qualifying round.

Things aren't going to be easy for Mexico, which will be missing injured star Rafael Marquez and dangerous young striker Carlos Vela (out with an ankle injury) though not Gerardo Torrado (who is NOT suspended for this match). Making the task even tougher is the fact that Costa Rica is nearly impossible to beat at home, having gone a perfect 7-0 at home in 2010 qualifying, outscoring opponents 19-1 in those matches.

So why will Mexico head to Saprissa with some confidence? Along with having beaten Costa Rica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals (albeit in penalty kick), Mexico also knows it is the last visiting country to win a qualifier in San Jose, having done so in 2005.

Who should American fans root for? A Costa Rica win coupled with a USA win vs. El Salvador would move the Americans four points clear of fourth place, while a Mexico win would open the for the USA to move into first place in the CONCACAF qualifying group. A tie and a USA win would allow the Americans to gain two points on both teams, which wouldn't be a bad scenario for the USA.

Another reason to root for a Costa Rica victory is because it would make it that much more likely that Costa Rica would head into its final qualifier in Washington on Oct. 14th having already qualified.

Here's the question for you, SBI readers. What do you see happening in the Mexico-Costa Rica match?

What do you see happening in San Jose? Think Mexico will keep the momentum going from the Gold Cup and the qualifying win vs. USA? Do you see Costa Rica continuing its unbeaten form at home? Who will you be rooting for?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I can’t see Mexico winning without the officials. If they do get called out, look for them to implode.

    Posted by: madmax


    what exactly are you talking about?

    Mexico had a goal called back against El Salvador on a poor call and a PK awarded to the salvies on an a shady call.

    Against Honduras, one goal was clearly offsides and the second by Costly should’ve been called off because he used his hand.

    Again, what are you talking about? Next thing I know, you’ll throw the A,B,C,D and G team excuse at me.

  2. @Lucio-

    Unbelievable what Coloccini did in that game! I’d completely forgotten! It should have been an automatic ban from playing the rest of the tournament for the challenge against Borghetti, and a straight red and a five game ban for the on against Morales!!! The guy gets a yellow, what a laugh!!! You see USMNT fans, you are certainly not the only ones being robbed by refs!!!

    And for all the convinient talk about Torrado, and Marquez being “goons”, no American ever mentions the flip side of the coin, like the aforementioned Ramon Morales, ‘Ramoncito’, one of the sweetest guys to ever play the game! And Vela, Ochoa, Sabah, Salcido, Osorio, etc.etc.

  3. A-lott

    Demerit was shown a yellow card for a late tackle on dos Santos after the kid ran around him. He was also spared a second yellow in the second half.

    And yes, like you said, you’re not an expert and Charlie Davies was truly hurt against Mexico and not wasting time right?

    Anyone who’s followed dos Santos knows that the biggest improvement to his game over the past year is his ability to ride out tackles and not go down like he used to.

    It happened all through out the Gold Cup.

    You need to know what you’re talking about before criticizing players.

  4. Hmm. I don’t remember Jay DeMerit hacking Dos Santos down. I do remember Giovanni playing the ball around DeMerit and sprinting into his shoulder as Jay turned to play the ball. Dos Santos fell down and the referee whistled a foul. Now, I’m not an expert on soccer, but I wasn’t aware that you could purposefully run into a defender as though he were holographic–like when Scott Bakula would walk through Dean Stockwell on every episode of “Quantam Leap”–and be awarded a foul.

    I also remember Carlos Bocanegra repeatedly fouling Giovanni Dos Santos because he couldn’t handle his speed. No argument there. I don’t think you could find a U.S. fan who would claim that Bocanegra is capable of shutting down Dos Santos, or any other speedy, nimble attacker, on the wing.

    However, don’t pretend that the entire world is constantly hacking and fouling the mighty Giovanni Dos Santos because there is no one capable of legitimately defending the Great Mexican Hope. Don’t act as though he’s been savaged every time he goes to ground. He’s a talented little flopper. We won’t pretend he’s not talented. You don’t pretend he’s not a dive artist.

  5. Excellent points Joma.

    I think Honduras is primed to take points from Azteca this time which makes it even more imperative that Mexico wins tonight agains the Ticos.

    Curtis, there’s no way the US will be seeded next year, especially after the horrible performance at the 06 WC.

  6. christian-

    I agree with you about Mexico having a really good chance of winning it tonight, but also “not banking on it!”

    I’m actually more worried about the Honduran visit to Azteca next Wednesday, for some reason. But that also depends on the way things pan out this weekend, and the way Mexico comports itself tonight.

    And Mexico is actually undefeated in their last ten games, tonight they could make it ELEVEN!

  7. We must root for Mexico to lose this game. If Mexico misses out, and we get some cooperation from a couple countries in Europe, we will have a seed in WC. We need that seed.

  8. Mexico is undefeated against Costa Rica since 2001.

    I know it’s a requisite to hate Mexico around here but it’s hard to take anyone’s opinion seriously when they aren’t watching the games and being objective. I think Mexico can win tonite but I wouldn’t bank on it. This Mexican team is alot more focused under Aguirre and is undefeated in their last seven games, they’ve been building up confidence and they may finish in the top three after all is said and done.

    I just want to point and laugh at the guy who’s calling out dos Santos for diving when Bocanegra and Demerit resorted to hacking him down because they couldn’t stop him.

    How easily we forget.

  9. @cesar-

    The same way that the US hadn’t lost in CONCACAF in a gazillion years until the Gold Cup final! The same way the US team was FINALLY going to beat Mexico at Azteca! And more specifically, the same way the Ticos where going to beat Mexico in the semis of the Gold Cup with their A+ team beating Mexico’s B+ team?
    What? Mexico’s not hungry for points???
    What argument does Costa Rica team have after the 2001 famous Aztecazo?
    Mexico plays well at Saprissa, with a win and a tie in their last two visits there!

    Get it into your head, THIS MEXICAN TEAM IS A DIFFERENT BEAST!

  10. I see Honduras as the best team in the region right now. I don’t know if they’ll finish 1st or not, but they’ll be in the top 3.

  11. Well I hoping for Mexico to lose. I have little to no confidence in the MNT, just look at the way we have been playing; I’m sick of playing Chelsea like anti-football. Well, if everything goes our way we will qualify without relying on our talent (if any), lets hope this mentality of relying on others for our success continues in the WC…

  12. @Tom P, you might be making too much of the bulk of the readership being partisan.

    The more damning facts for Mexico are that Costa Rica has yet to lose at home this round (in fact, none of the big 4 have lost at home yet). The stadium itself is like Azteca’s sickly cousin: not as awful conditions around it, but still no one relishes the idea of playing on that concrete. Costa Rica are going to come out energized: the fans want to see Mexico fall there just as badly as we want to see Mexico fail here. The Ticos realize that ANY dropped points at this stage of the Hex could really sink their ship….

    It’ll be a good day in Mexico if they tie, let’s just put it that way.

  13. Wonder how many seconds after that picture Dos Santos was on the ground in excruciating pain.

    Posted by: jjraines | September 04, 2009 at 04:04 PM

    Haha awesome post, that basically summarizes his play. Move the ball two feet, let someone tap his shoulder, then fall like he got shot by a sniper. Dude is a joke when it comes to believing his fouls, he should get suspended for his acting.

  14. I would like to see Costa Rica or Mexico finish 4th in CONCACAF qualifying and then beat a South American team to qualify. I don’t care if we finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd in qualifying. I think a victory by Costa Rica would be the best result toward that scenario. A Mexico home and away with a South American country would be great to watch.

  15. I look at the poll and see hate of Mexico- not an honest evaluation of FORM & TALENT.

    I feel about Mexico like most loyal U.S. fans but come on guys: 70% of you really think they are going to CR side coming off an 0-4 drubbing in Honduras. PLEASE!

  16. Win for Mexico!

    For the first half of the qualifiers Mexico was in Svenland! But NO MORE!

    And Costa Rica where…LUCKY!

    US wins Dos Cero!!!

  17. I don’t see the Ticos sending anything but an A team out for blood to that last game in the US, no matter what the standings. I remember the tie vs Mexico in 2001. They had qualification clinched and put out an A team at home. They are looking for respect in the region.

    As to CR-Mex, best game in Concacaf for a soccer fan, could go either way. And since I’m too cheap to get Classic or Telefutura, the one I’ll watch.

    As a US fan, I think we’re going to need some help along the way, and Ticos and Catrachos are our best bet. Rooting for both to win, although I think Honduras will tie 2-2 in Azteca.

    I’m a terrible predictor, by the way.

    Oh, and 4th is still better than out of the money.

    Finally, do any of us remember that Costa Rica was sent out of the 2002 WC by the 1st and 3rd place teams?

  18. Mexijo will lose!
    Did i put a j in the wrong place?
    Match to watch and the one that has the most riding on it is not Argenina vs. Brazil but instead is:
    Poland vs. Northern Ireland, this is as close to a win you’re in, lose you’re out matchup that you can have at this point.

  19. If the quality of play between Mexico and Argentina for a final ticket to the World Cup, can ever match their Confederations Cup game, then I’m all for it! The Argies where incredibly lucky to to get a positive result on that one!
    Can’t miss the opportunity to point out, that if some posters always complain of the Mexican “goons”, which in the present Mexican team apart from Torrado are ? Just take a look at this clip of the aforementioned match from 2005. US fans would be demanding jail time for Riquelme and especially Coloccini!

  20. We should NOT be rooting for a tie. A win for either team and the US only needs 9 points (including Sat vs ES) to guarantee qualifying. If CR and Mex tie the points required goes up to 20 because a 4 way tie on 19 is possible. Imagine the final round of games with all of the big 4 knowing that goal differential will decide who has to play the home and home with COMBOL?

    Root for a CR win if you want the best chance for Mex to finish 4th

    Root for a Mex win if you the best chance for the US to finish 1st

    Whatever you do, root for someone to win the game.

  21. ‘I’m reminded of the saying “beware for whom the bell tolls, because it could be for thee”. ‘

    Actually, the phrase is “…therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” The meaning is different than your version, but I agree with your sentiment. Come on you Yanks.

  22. “Who should American fans root for?” If it is Mexico versus team X, we root for team X. Should not matter the situation.

  23. Why should the US be anything but first? CR has a 2 pt lead on us, but still have to come here. If we win our games, that will take care of itself. Second would be OK too, but why shoot for less than the top?

  24. as a USA fan i hope mexico looses outright. The US should just gun for second place because we’ll still qualify and mexico won’t 😀

  25. Yeah, Mexico/Arg as a playoff would be incredible viewing. I wonder how they determine who hosts the second leg. I always think that the team that hosts the second leg has the advantage. And, where do they get the ref for this playoff, UEFA?

  26. Lets not count our chickens, we have to get by ES and likley also T&T to even begin thinking about who finishs fourth…I’m reminded of the saying “beware for whom the bell tolls, because it could be for thee”.

    What I don’t want to see is a US 4th place finish. We need to clear space from fourth, so I’ll cheer for CR and a tie at the worst…but first we need to take care of business in Sandy, Utah.

  27. Here’s a great scenario.

    CR wins tomorrow, beats a dispirited ES team on Wednesday, and does the business at home against TT on Oct. 10. By that time they’re already qualified and can send an experimental squad for the final Hexagonal game in the States.

    Mexico draws with Honduras on Wednesday and limps to 4th place in the group and goes and takes on the Argies in the playoff.

  28. Rooting for Costa Rica but will be happy with any outcome as long as the USA win. Would love to see Mexico have to Qualify as the 4th seed against South America’s 5th seed.

  29. Mexico will finish 4th in Concacaf and will face Argentina, who will finish 5th in CONEMBOL. The winner goes on to South Africa and the loser will go home. Can’t wait to see it 🙂


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