Mexico ride Ovalle brace past Paraguay and into semifinals
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Mexico ride Ovalle brace past Paraguay and into semifinals

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MIAMI, Florida – Jacqueline Ovalle bagged a brace to help power Mexico to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Paraguay in the quarterfinals of the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup on Sunday afternoon at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles, California.

Mexico join Canada and Brazil as teams qualified for the final four and will face Brazil in the semifinals on Wednesday.

Mexico took control right from the start and would break through in the 31’ courtesy of Jacqueline Ovalle, who received a pass on the left side of the area and cranked a left-footed shot that beat Paraguay GK Alicia Bobadilla for a 1-0 Mexico lead.

Mexico kept their foot on the gas and made it 2-0 in the 49’ when a corner kick was initially cleared to Karen Luna, who took a touch and hammered a right-footed shot into net.

Paraguay looked to respond and a minute later they had a penalty called in their favor when Jessica Martinez was fouled in the area, but the spot kick from the Paraguayan attacker was saved by Mexico GK Esthefanny Barreras, who stretched to her right to make the stop.

Paraguay kept pushing, though, and they cut the Mexico lead to 2-1 in the 64’ when Camila Barbosa rose high and squeezed a header past Barreras and over the line for a goal.

But Mexico’s pressure would prove to be too much for Paraguay and it led to a breakaway in the 69’ for Stephany Mayor, whose shot was initially blocked by Bobadilla, but Ovalle was there to clean up the rebound and score 3-1.

Paraguay were unfazed and back they came with another big strike, as Rebeca Fernandez got on the end of a diagonal pass and finished to bring the South Americans to within 3-2 in the 72’.

Mexico held their nerve though, and used pressure in attack to keep Paraguay at bay until the final whistle to secure their semifinal spot.