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Mexico Downs South Africa, 4-2, to Set-Up NIKE U.S. Cup Championship Match with USA on Sunday on ABC


DALLAS (Wednesday, June 7, 2000) - Two late strikes by Mexican forward Horacio Sanchez helped lead Mexico to a 4-2 victory over South Africa tonight in front of 27,815 fans at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The victory for Mexico sets up a winner-take-all match for the Nike U.S. Cup Waterford Crystal Trophy between the USA and their arch-rival on Sunday at Giants Stadium in New Jersey. The match kicks off at 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationwide on ABC (1 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT). South Africa and Ireland will close out the seventh annual tournament with a 3:30 p.m. kickoff following USA-Mexico.

Sanchez, the nephew of Mexican coach Hugo Sanchez, came on as a second-half sub in the 79th minute, but was able to add his second and third goals of the tournament in just five minutes, both coming on clinical finishes in the box. In the 80th minute, Sanchez neatly finished a looping breakaway pass off the head of Mexico's Luis Perez, and then just three minutes later the 22-year-old forward redirected a pass from the left flank from Jaime Lozano into the far side-netting past goalkeeper Andre Arendse.

After an opening 35 minutes, in which South Africa had several chances to strike first, the Mexican duo of Jesus Olade Luis Perez combined on back-to-back goals five minutes apart to put the Tri-Colores on the road to victory.

The first goal came in the 39th minute and saw Perez slide a short pass to Olade, breaking down the right wing, who beat the offside trap and carried the ball 30 yards into the penalty area before calmly placing a shot through the legs of South African goalkeeper Andre Arendse.

In the 43rd minute, Olade returned the favor to Perez by setting him up on a short square pass from outside the penalty area. The pass sent Perez into the left side of the box where the unmarked midfielder slotted a low line-drive just inside the far post past Arendse.

South Africa scored their first U.S. Cup goal in the 52nd minute, with Benni McCarthy notching his 14th international goal by pouncing on a saved blast from Dumisi Ngobe, who's initial shot was barely kept out of the net by a sprawling finger-tip save from Mexican goalkeeper Sergio Bernal. Bernal's acrobatic save went for naught, though, when the ball rolled perfectly to the onrushing McCarthy, who slammed the ball home from four yards out.

Despite a number of chances to tie the game, Mexico iced the game with Sanchez's tallies, before South Africa's Thabo Mngomeni hit a penalty kick in 89th minute to account for the final score.

"South Africa was very uncomfortable to play against," said Hugo Sanchez after the match. "We weren't able to play our game, our technical game. It was very hard to play a continuous style, but I think quality soccer won out."

2000 NIKE U.S. CUP GAME REPORT

Participants:Mexico Men's National Team vs. South Africa National Team
Competition:Nike U.S. Cup 2000
Venue:Cotton Bowl (Dallas, Texas)
Date:June 7, 2000 - Kickoff 8 p.m. CT
Attendance:27,815
Weather:80 degrees - Clear

Scoring Summary:1st2ndFinal
Mexico
224
South Africa
022

MEX - Jesus Olade, (Luis Perez), 39,
MEX - Luis Perez, (Jesus Olade), 43,
RSA - Benni McCarthy, (Dumisi Ngobe), 52,
MEX - Horacio Sanchez, (Luis Perez), 80,
MEX - Horacio Sanchez, (Jaime Lozano), 83,
RSA - Thabo Mngomeni (penalty kick), 89.

Lineups:
MEX - 1-Sergio Bernal, 3-Joaquin Beltran, 14-Christian Ramirez, 17-Raul Alpizar, 5-Israel Lopez, 6-Gerardo Torrado, 7-Luis Perez, 8-Paulo Cesar Chavez (18-Carlos Cariño, 68), 11-Jesus Olade (9-Horacio Sanchez, 79), 15-Luis Hernandez (10-Luis Ignacio Gonzalez, 68), 20-Daniel Orsono (16-Jaime Lozano, 79).

RSA - 1-Andre Arendse, 2-Cyril Nzama, 3-Fabian McCarthy, 13-Pierre Issa, 19-Jacob Lekgetho, 10-Dumisi Ngobe (8-Thabo Mngomeni, 71), 11-Helman Mkhalele (15-Arthur Zwane, 85), 12-Godfrey Sapula, 6-George Koumantarakis (14-Patrick Mayo, 71), 17-Benni McCarthy, 18-Delron Buckley.

Statistical Summary:MEXRSA
Shots . . . . . . . . . .
1817
Saves . . . . . . . . . .
85
Corner Kicks . . . . .
24
Fouls . . . . . . . . . .
1519
Offside . . . . . . . . .
42

Misconduct Summary:
RSA
Delron Buckley (caution)6,
RSA
Helman Mkhalele (caution)17,
MEX
Daniel Osorno (caution)31,
MEX
Raul Alpizar (caution)33,
RSA
Pierre Issa (caution)38,
MEX
Gerardo Torrado (caution)52,
RSA
Andre Arendse (caution)65,
MEX
Sergio Bernal (caution)89,
RSA
Cyril Nzama (caution)91+.


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