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Memo leads Mexico into final
by Paul Kennedy, July 24th, 2009 7AM



[GOLD CUP] Mexico survived the disappointment of conceding the tying goal three minutes into stoppage time at the end of regulation to defeat Costa Rica in a shootout Thursday and move into Sunday's Gold Cup final against the USA, a repeat of the final won by the Americans two years ago.

Mexico has used three goalkeepers this year, but the youngest of the three, Guillermo Ochoa, may have the edge for the starting job after being the hero in the Soldier Field shootout.

The popular Ochoa, known by his nickname "Memo," stopped Froylan Ledezma, whose goal in the 93rd minute had tied the game 1-1, with a diving save that decided the shootout in the Tri's favor, 5-3.

The pro-Mexico crowd of 55,173 had watched the Tri go ahead when Guillermo Franco scored from short range in the 88th minute.

Costa Rica goalkeeper Keilor Navas had stopped a Mexico penalty by Miguel Sabah earlier in the second half.

Ochoa, a reserve in the 2007 Gold Cup final won by the USA, is one of only four Mexican players who suited up for the championship two years ago and played against the TicoS on Thursday. The others are Jose Jonny Magallon, Alberto Medina and Fausto Pinto.

July 23 in Chicago
Mexico 1 Costa Rica 1 (Mexico wins 5-3 on penalties). Goals: Franco 88; Ledezma 90.
Costa Rica -- Navas, Fernandez, Marshall, Delgado, Wallace, Borges, Oviedo, Alonso (Ledezma, 67), Herron, Saborio, Brenes (Herrera, 58)
Mexico -- Ochoa, Magallon, Pinto (Vela, 81), Valenzuela, Juarez, Torrado, I.Castro, Medina (J.Castro, 53), Sabah (Franco, 70), Dos Santos.
Yellow cards: Mexico -- Torrado 19, Juarez 48; Herron 11, Delgado 22, Marshall 20, Fernandez 83, Oviedo 94.
Att.: 55,173.


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