News Americas, ST. RUTHERFORD, N.J., Mon July 20, 2015: Trinidad & Tobago’s Soca Warriors and Costa Rica’s Ticos are officially out of the CONCACAF Gold Cup but not because of a lack of trying.
The Warriors managed to tie the quarter-finals game Sunday in New Jersey to take it into penalty kicks. But they lost on a 5-6 shoot out.
The loss for Costa Rica was tougher to handle for the Ticos as they lost because of a blunder made by official Walter Lopez.
After playing Mexico in a scoreless match after more than 120 minutes, Mexico finally broke through in the 124th minute as captain Andres Guardado slammed home a penalty. The penalty came off of a foul called by Lopez against Costa Rica’s Roy Miller after he made a slight contact with Mexican striker Oribe Peralta.
But replays suggest the penalty was soft at best, and non-existent at worst.
Even though Costa Rica’s players angrily confronted Lopez, the Mexicans were through to the quarter-finals and the Costa Ricans were the ones heading home.
Heartbreaking as Lopez had only a few minutes earlier failed to send off Mexico’s Peralta for a dangerous, scissored tackle on the Ticos’ Elias Aguilar. And so the valiant effort by Costa Rica came to an end as Mexico, much to the glee of their fans, advance to the semi-finals to play Panama.
Panama had earlier in the afternoon won over a tired looking Trinidad & Tobago squad that spent much of the match defending a tough offense from the Panamanians.
Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo helped seal his side’s semi-finals fate after lunging one-handed and denying the Warrior’s Lester Peltier’s spot kick. The score had been previously tied 1-1 after regulation and extra time.
On Saturday, Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz moved through to the semis with a 1-0 win over Haiti while the US decimated Cuba with a 6-0 win.
The semi-final matches are set for July 22 at 6 & 9 p.m. ET at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The Gold Cup finals weekend will kick off with the match for third place on July 25 at 4 p.m. ET at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, and conclude with the grand finale on July 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Lincoln Financial Field at Pennsylvania.
Tickets for all matches are available for the knockout round of the Gold Cup by visiting www.GoldCup.org.