Captain Bryan Ruiz helped Costa Rica to a valuable point in Mexico in FIFA World Cup Qualifying on Tuesday night.
Costa Rica had gone joint-top of the CONCACAF group after a win over Honduras on Friday, but the United States’ win over Panama puts them ahead.
Ruiz played all 90 minutes and helped set the tone for the Costa Rican attacks, which saw their first effort from Joel Campbell in the fourth minute. The Arsenal striker raced past Mexico defender Maza Rodriguez and beat goalkeeper Jose Corona, only to hit the far post.
Campbell continued to cause trouble and forced Corona into another save in the 37th minute before Ruiz fired a long shot over the bar minutes later.
Mexico pushed back in the second half but Costa Rica held firm – even in the wake of crowd trouble that saw angry home fans throw objects onto the pitch in the 78th minute. Ruiz appeared to be hit by one as he prepared to take a corner, but the skipper will be pleased with the result which keeps his side in the mix for a qualifying place.
The CONCACAF standings (below) see Costa Rica in second place, two points behind the USA but ahead of Mexico on goal difference having played a game less.