Mexico City: Co-hosts Mexico reached the CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals with a 5-0 win over Jamaica in the Azteca Stadium on Sunday.
Goals from Omar Bravo (38 minutes), Rafael Garcia (42), Daniel Osorno (55), Jared Borgetti (61) and Juan Pablo Rodriguez (83) wrapped up a comfortable victory for the Mexicans.
They now meet Costa Rica, 5-2 winners against El Salvador, in Mexico City on Thursday, while Brazil face holders US in the other semi-final in Miami on Wednesday.
Much improved from their last match, a 0-0 draw on Thursday with Honduras, Mexico attacked repeatedly down the right wing in the first half and could have scored more if striker Borgetti had taken all his chances after the break.
Striker Omar Bravo, left out of Mexico’s first two games of the tournament, put the home side ahead with a diving header from a looping Jesus Arellano cross.
Garcia then drove home a free kick just before half-time and Jamaica, without suspended forward Onandi Lowe, never looked like recovering.
The margin of victory takes the pressure off Mexico’s Argentine coach, Ricardo Lavolpe, who was criticised after the draw with Honduras.
“We never paid any attention to that. We are just working harder to show Ricardo we can do it,” said forward Osorno.
Mexico were lining up to take their chances in the second half and substitute Osorno stabbed in Mexico’s third from close range just after the break following a very slow build up. Borgetti put away a header from four metres just after the hour mark and could eventually have had a hattrick.
With seven minutes to go, Rodriguez scored with a delightful strike from 25 metres that left goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts stranded and the 10,000 crowd on their feet. Osorno called for a larger turnout in the huge stadium for the semi-final against Costa Rica.
“I hope more people come to the stadium and support us. It’s a process. We’re getting better and better,” he said.