SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — Mexico will contest a two-game playoff to qualify for next year's World Cup in Brazil after a dramatic finish to CONCACAF qualifying on Tuesday in which the United States came to Mexico's rescue.
Mexico lost 2-1 at Costa Rica while Panama was leading the U.S. 2-1 until late in the game.
Had Panama held on for a win, it would have moved above Mexico into the playoff-yielding fourth spot in the group, but the U.S. scored two late goals to win 3-2, and Mexico clung on.
Mexico will face Oceania champion New Zealand in the playoff for a spot in Brazil.
Costa Rica took a 26th minute lead through Brian Ruiz. Oribe Peralta equalized for Mexico in the 29th, but Alvaro Saborio scored the winner in the 64th.
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