[HEXAGONAL COUNTDOWN] Ivory Coast proved to be just what the doctor ordered, as the Elephants gifted Mexico two first-half goals and El Tri went on win, 4-1, for a confidence-boosting victory with key World Cup 2014 qualifiers against Honduras and the USA on tap for September. Costa Rica, which hosts the USA in a battle of Hexagonal leaders on Sept. 6, shrugged off a slow start to win, 4-0, at the Dominican Republic thanks to four second-half goals.
Olympic gold-medal hero Oribe Peralta has struggled to
break into the senior national team, but the 28-year-old Santos forward scored two first-half goals to propel El Tri to a 3-0 lead at the break.
Mexico's first three friendlies this year
in the United States all ended in ties, but there was no chance of that happening on Wednesday night as Ivory Coast put on an uninspired display before a pro-Mexico crowd of 35,671 at MetLife Stadium
in East Rutherford, N.J.
Elephant defender Arthur Boka gifted Mexico an own goal in the 10th minute and a bad back pass from Jean-Jacques Gosso Gosso allowed Peralta to score his first goal in the 28th minute. Giovani Dos Santos set up Peralta for the
third goal just before the end of the first half.
Angel Reyna was rewarded for a solid outing with the fourth Mexico goal late in the game after
Didier Drogba, who had come on to start the second half, pulled one back for Ivory Coast from the penalty spot.
The game marked El Tri debut of
Argentine Christian Gimenez, who was recently naturalized.
-- Celso Borges scored two goals, and late goals
from Pablo Herrera and Mauricio Castillo gave Costa Rica a comfortable win over the Dominican Republic. Borges was one
of nine Ticos called in from Europe, but no MLS players were called up.