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Ureña stuns Mexico with late equalizer as Costa Rica move closer to World Cup spot

Marco Ureña grabbed a dramatic late equalizer as Costa Rica fought back to earn a 1-1 draw with Mexico and move one step closer to Russia 2018.

Mexico’s undefeated record in World Cup qualifiers under Juan Carlos Osorio will continue, but El Tri will rue a number of missed chances to close out this game.

The first half was sloppy but chances fell to both sides, with Guillermo Ochoa and Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas shining under the three posts.

Mexico eventually grabbed the breakthrough close to halftime when Raul Jimenez hustled for a ball on the left wing, setting up Giovani dos Santos from close range. Keylor Navas made a phenomenal save, but unfortunately for the home fans, the ball deflected off Cristian Gamboa to give Mexico the lead.

Mexico looked to build on their lead and could have scored a couple more in the second half alone. The clearest chance came in the 65th minute when 3 v 1 breakaway ended with Jesus Manuel “Tecatito” Corona having his shot saved by Keylor Navas.

Costa Rica would eventually make Mexico pay. Marco Ureña who stunned the United States National team in his previous game, scoring both goals in their shock 2-0 win over the Stars and Stripes, picked up a cleared ball just outside the box. Without thinking twice, Ureña unleashed a perfectly placed volley past Ochoa to send the home fans into a frenzy.

With the snatched point, Costa Rica remain a point away from clinching a place in Russia 2018. Meanwhile, Mexico have already clinched a place in Russia, and next will take the field in October when they close out the Hexagonal against Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago.