With their big win tonight over Costa Rica, Mexico have gone through to the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup in emphatic fashion, sending a message to all of their competitors. They were so good tonight that they didn't need 'Chicharito' Javier Hernandez, they didn't need Giovani dos Santos, and they didn't even need the second half. They breezed through the second 45 minutes appearing to take it easy and even allowing the Ticos to score one garbage goal as they took a win by a final score of 4-1.
Andres Guardado was the star of the show, scoring a brace in a seven minute time period. Rafael Marquez opened the scoring with a header on a corner kick 17 minutes into the game before Guardado scored the next two in a row. The first was an absolutely stunning laser beam of a strike, and the second was a good, hard near post drive from 12 yards out. Pablo Barrera completed the scoring towards the end of the first half.
Costa Rica nicked a goal in the second half as substitute Marco Ureña scored a nice goal off of a setup by Bryan Ruiz, but it was the only life that the Ticos had in them. They were so thoroughly embarrassed in the first half that Mexico could stop trying, as there was no coming back from either the deficit or the sting of the embarrassing nature of the beating they received. Mexico is now likely to play Guatemala or Canada in the quarterfinals.
For more on Mexico vs. Costa Rica, the 2011 Gold Cup (Copa Oro), and Mexican football in general, check out SB Nation's Mexican football blog FMF State Of Mind.