Mexico vs. Costa Rica score, highlights: El Tri get three points, but Chicharito hurt

Mexico moved into first place in the hexagonal on Friday night after beating Costa Rica 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier at Estadio Azteca.

First-half goals from Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Nestor Aruajo sealed the three points for the hosts, who handled Costa Rica’s pace well and came away with their second in three matches in the hex.

Chicharito scored early to match Jared Borgetti as Mexico’s all-time leading goal scorer with 46 goals.

Araujo then made it 2-0 off a corner with the ball just going under Keylor Navas and past the line.

A great result, but Mexico had to take Hernandez off midway through the second injury after picking up a knock. His status for the next game is not yet known.

With the win, Mexico jumps Costa Rica into first with seven points. On Tuesday the teams return to action, with Mexico playing Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica taking on Honduras.

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MEXICO VS. COSTA RICA: SCORE AND REACTION FOR WORLD CUP 2018 QUALIFYING

Mexico stands alone atop the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 World Cup after scoring a 2-0 victory over Costa Rica on Friday night at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez scored in the seventh minute and El Tri never relinquished the lead. The result leaves them as the only unbeaten team in the Hexagonal through three matches (2-1-0), which creates a promising path to qualification after narrowly making the cut four years ago.

Nestor Araujo also scored for the Mexican side.

The Ticos (2-0-1) drop to second place in the group with the loss. They were competitive throughout the contest, especially in the early stages, but giving up the second goal right before halftime was a major setback in their bid to earn at least a point.

Chicharito put Mexico on the scoreboard early by capping off a terrific team play with a perfect chip.

The Mexican attack pushed forward despite a numbers advantage for the Costa Rican defense. The Bayer Leverkusen striker made a well-timed run to get behind the back line and Carlos Vela laid a through ball into space to create the scoring chance.

Hernandez took care of the rest, beating Ticos goalkeeper Keylor Navas to the ball just in time to flick it over the Real Madrid star to grab the lead.

Vela picked up his second assist of the night on Mexico's second goal. He delivered a floating corner kick right into the sweet spot just outside the six-yard box and Araujo was there to power the header past Navas to double the lead shortly before the halftime whistle.

Mexico turned down the pace in the second half to secure the win. Costa Rica, which looked potent for most of the first half until El Tri made it 2-0, failed to make much of an impression in the second half.

Looking ahead, both teams return to action Tuesday for the fourth set of fixtures.

Mexico faces a tricky road test against Trinidad and Tobago. The Soca Warriors are coming off a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Panama and will look to replicate that type of physical, defensively sound performance against the more talented Mexican group next week.

Meanwhile, Costa Rica stays out on the road and will look to avoid a two-match losing streak when it faces off with Honduras. The Ticos must do a much better job of taking advantage of early chances than they did at Estadio Azteca to secure all three points.


Hernandez ties Borgetti's goals record as Mexico beats Costa Rica

Mexico stormed to a 2-0 win against Costa Rica in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifier in Mexico City on Friday night.

Javier Hernandez got the hosts off to a perfect start in the seventh minute, chipping Costa Rica's Keylor Navas from a pinpoint through ball from Carlos Vela to put Mexico ahead and draw level with Jared Borgetti as the national team's all-time leading scorer with 46 goals.

Navas was called into action in the 17th minute, when Carlos Vela smashed a shot from distance that was on goal, only for the Real Madrid goalkeeper to parry the ball over the crossbar.

Mexico doubled its lead just before half-time, with Vela again the provider. The Real Sociedad winger's corner found Nestor Araujo at the back post and he rose over his defender to head home.

The win sees Mexico leapfrog Costa Rica into first place in the qualifying standings on seven points ahead of its next CONCACAF match against Trinidad and Tobago on March 28.

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