The 2021 Concacaf Nations League Finals are right around the corner in which Mexico will clash with Costa Rica in the second semifinal on June 3 in Denver, Colorado.
Taking into account their recent history against Costa Rica in Concacaf tournaments, El Tricolor will certainly fancy their chances of reaching the Final.
Dating back to the 2009 Concacaf Gold Cup, Mexico and Costa Rica have faced each other five times in Concacaf tournaments, such as the Gold Cup and the Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.
The 2009 Gold Cup saw the two nations face off in a memorable semifinal at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. A goal from Guillermo Franco in the 88’ looked like it would give Mexico a 1-0 win, but Froylan Ledezma evened things up 1-1 for the Central Americans in the 90+3’.
Matters had to be decided in a penalty shootout and from the spot, Mexico were perfect in converting all five attempts for a 5-3 penalty shootout win.
Two years later in the 2011 Gold Cup, Mexico and Costa Rica squared off again at Soldier Field in Chicago, this time in the group stage, but there would be no late drama, as Mexico rolled to a 4-1 win.
Andres Guardado bagged a brace, while Rafael Marquez and Pablo Barrera also scored to give Mexico a commanding 4-0 lead at halftime. Costa Rica managed to avoid the clean sheet thanks to a Marcos Urena score in the second half, but the three points belonged to Mexico.
MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey was the sight of their next meeting, in a 2015 Gold Cup quarterfinal that was decided by the thinnest of margins.
The two sides battled to a 0-0 draw after 90 minutes and then that same scoreline held until the waning moments of extra time when Mexico won a penalty.
Guardado kept a cool head and converted the spot kick in the 120+4’ to earn El Tricolor a dramatic 1-0 triumph.
Four years later another Gold Cup quarterfinal was on the docket between Mexico and Costa Rica at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, and like in 2009, things had to be decided from the spot after goals from Raul Jimenez for Mexico and Bryan Ruiz for Costa Rica resulted in a 1-1 draw.
Mexico GK Guillermo Ochoa would emerge as the hero with the decisive save from Keysher Fuller’s attempt to give Mexico a 5-4 penalty shootout win.
The last previous meeting between the two nations came in March of this year at the 2020 CMOQ in Guadalajara, Mexico, and the home side powered their way to a 3-0 win thanks to scores from Uriel Antuna, Alexis Vega and Sebastian Cordova.
If recent history is any indication, fans can expect another tight, hotly contested match between Mexico and Costa Rica in the CNL Finals.