Costa Rica 2-1 Mexico: El Tri player ratings

Posted by Tom Marshall

JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty ImagesOnce again Chicharito Hernandez failed to find the back of the net for Mexico.

Rarely has there been a more epic finish to a World Cup-qualifying campaign in any region than on Tuesday in CONCACAF.

The result is that Mexico still has a shot at the World Cup thanks to its archrivals, the United States, who came from behind with two goals deep into injury time to defeat Panama 3-2, while El Tri crumbled 2-1 in Costa Rica.

- Match report: Costa Rica 2-1 Mexico
- Bennett: U.S. keeps Mexico alive

El Tri came within two minutes of being eliminated, but the fact the flame of qualification is still alive shouldn't cover up the deep cracks that the Hexagonal has exposed.

Mexico finished a whole 11 points behind the United States, winning only two of its 10 games, and will face New Zealand next month in a two-legged playoff to reach Brazil 2014.

Player ratings (Out of 10, 10 = best):

Guillermo Ochoa, GK -- 5: Had a penchant for punching at crosses that he should've easily caught and didn't look entirely at ease on the greasy surface of Estadio Nacional. Did make a couple of decent saves in the second half.

Miguel Layun, RB -- 6: Another solid effort for the Club America player, who tamed his attacking intent a little but was still on hand to deliver a great ball in from the right wing in the 42nd. The only negative was his suspect covering for Costa Rica's opener.

Rafa Marquez, CB -- 6: The catalyst of most of Mexico's positives moving forward with his passing, captain Marquez lost Alvaro Saborio for Costa Rica's second and looked uncomfortable alongside Ayala. It was a mixed performance from the former Barcelona player.

Hugo Ayala, CB -- 3: Another poor night for the Tigres man, who was out of position for Costa Rica's first and seemed a little low on confidence after his error on Friday against Panama.

Jorge Torres Nilo, LB -- 4: Was frequently passed with ease down Costa Rica's right, from which problems came all night, including both goals. Torres Nilo did make a vital intervention in the 52nd minute, when he used his pace to track back.

Jesus Zavala, CM -- 6: The Monterrey midfielder proved one of Mexico's better players on the night, sitting in a defensive role and allowing Carlos Pena to burst forward. Justified his selection ahead of the experienced Gerardo Torrado.

Carlos Pena, CM -- 7: Mexico's best player on Tuesday. "Gullit" drove Mexico forward in the first half, providing the through-ball from which Oribe Peralta scored. He also played the pass from which Javier Hernandez scuffed an easy shot with the goal gaping. It was a solid mix of invention with graft from Pena.

Javier Aquino, RM -- 5: Apart from the 23rd minute, when he set up Pena on the edge of the area, Aquino didn't do much to impress, although one positive was his work rate. More is required from the Villarreal player moving forward.

Christian Gimenez, LM -- 5: Started on the left but drifted further inside for swathes of the game. Chaco was tidy in possession in the first half, without really making any key plays. After the break, the heavy pitch took its effect and he ran out of steam, like many others.

Oribe Peralta, CF -- 7: Can't really ask much more of Peralta than what he put in on Tuesday. Again, the Santos Laguna netted for the national team with a goal that was deceptively difficult to convert.

Javier Hernandez, CF -- 4: Chicharito is suffering from a crisis of confidence at present and somehow squandered a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the 18th. The caveat is that his movement and positioning was still good and Mexico created less after he was subbed out, but there's no way around the fact that this has been a nightmare few days for the Manchester United player.


Raul Jimenez (for Hernandez, 60) -- 5: It was always going to be difficult to pull off something as spectacular as against Panama, but the America player was slightly lackluster on the ball and, apart from one good header, didn’t get near enough the goal to make an impact.

Giovani Dos Santos (for Aquino, 5) -- 5: The surprise omission from Victor Manuel Vucetich's starting XI. Attempted to drive at Costa Rica but didn’t do any damage.

Isaac Brizuela (for Torres Nilo 73) -- 5: Thrown on with El Tri desperate for a goal but wasn't able to show the form he has shown with Atlas and Toluca and get in behind the Costa Rica defense.


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