Oribe Peralta (pictured) scored in Mexico's Copa America Centenario win over Jamaica on June 9, 2016, in Pasadena, California. (Photo: Mexsport)
HOUSTON -- With each of the 16 teams having played two group-stage games in the Copa America Centenario, it’s time again to look back at how CONCACAF’s six representatives fared in their second outings.
Mexico 2, Jamaica 0: The Reggae Boyz saw their quarterfinal hopes end at a packed Rose Bowl Stadium, but not without a valiant effort in an end-to-end contest. Javier Hernandez scored the opener for Mexico in the 18th minute, while goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was outstanding, especially when thwarting Michael Hector’s clearing scoring opportunity in the latter stages of the first half. An 81st-minute strike by Oribe Peralta sealed the victory. The Club America star has now netted for Mexico in the World Cup, World Cup Qualifying, the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the CONCACAF Cup and the Olympic Games.
Jermaine Jones, United States (v Costa Rica): Clint Dempsey did much of the work on the USA’s second goal with a long run that began near the midfield stripe, but after taking the Seattle Sounders star’s pass, Jones guided a precise right-footed shot beyond Patrick Pemberton and inside the right post.
Javier Hernandez, Mexico (v Jamaica): Hernandez scored his first goal of the competition to give Mexico the lead in the 18th minute. Jesus Corona reached an initial ball on the left and delivered a cross towards the penalty spot. Hernandez rose to head home inside the right post.
Guillermo Ochoa, Mexico (v Jamaica): Of Ochoa’s three saves, two were of the exceptional variety. His most important came six minutes before halftime, when -- as Mexico held on to a 1-0 lead -- he spread his frame wide to deny Michael Hector an equalizer from close range.
Johny Placide, Haiti (v Brazil): Even in a 7-1 defeat, Placide intervened several times and made six saves. His best two came close together in the 78th minute, charged off his line to deny Gabriel’s breakaway and then to push Willian’s screamer over the crossbar.
Cristian Gamboa, Costa Rica (v United States): The Ticos looked dangerous early in their second Group A match, before Gamboa pushed U.S. forward Bobby Wood inside the penalty area in the seventh minute. Dempsey converted the penalty and the U.S. was on its way to a 4-0 win.
Anibal Godoy, Panama (v Argentina): The Canaleros were trailing the FIFA World No. 1 side 1-0 and were creating chances. Then, Godoy received his second caution for pushing Argentina’s Nicolas Gaitan. With 10 men, they eventually conceded to Argentina four times in the final 25 minutes for a 5-0 loss.
TOP TEAM PERFORMANCE
United States (v Costa Rica): After losing its opener as to Colombia, the tournament host responded with a splendid performance against an accomplished CONCACAF rival, storming to a 3-0 halftime lead en route to a comfortable 4-0 victory. It was the Americans’ largest-ever win over the eight-time Central American champion.
TOP INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE
Clint Dempsey, United States (v Costa Rica): The Seattle Sounders man converted a penalty for his 50th career international goal and was even more impressive as a provider, assisting on Jermaine Jones and Bobby Wood strikes as the Yanks earned a 4-0 win over Costa Rica in Group A.
ONE LAST THING
Of the six CONCACAF teams playing in the first Copa America to feature 16 teams, Mexico has already qualified for the quarterfinals, while the United States, Panama and Costa Rica are still in contention. Of that trio, two could still advance.