Mexico's Hector Herrera (C) celebrates scoring in overtime over Senegal with teammate Jorge Enriquez (R) and Darvin Chavez (5) in their men's quarter final soccer match at the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium in London, August 4, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Darren Staples )
Mexico will take on Japan in the semi-finals of the Men's soccer tournament after an emphatic 4-2 victory over an impressive Senegal squad.
Mexico, who often looked lethargic offensively throughout the group stage, was anything but that during their seesaw match against the Africans. However the one area where they were tremendous in the preliminary stage was where they often faltered in this match. Coming into the quarter-finals, Mexico was one of two teams to not allow a single goal. They can no longer make that claim after allowing two goals against Senegal.
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Mexico got off to a tremendous start when Jorge Enriquez headed in a Giovanni Dos Santos set piece into the far post.
The goal ignited the Senegalese to fight back and for much of the first half, the two squads exchanged chances. The second half was the most frenzied of all as Mexico doubled their lead in the 61st minute off a scramble in front of the Senegal net. Marco Fabian made a last ditch lunge at a losse ball and it hit off Senegal keeper Mane and deflected to an open spot in the box where Javier Aquino blasted it into the back of the net.
But Senegal, who was relentless throughout would not be had and just seven minutes later the revelatory Moussa Konate would score his tournament leading fifth goal off a header cross from Cheikou Kouyate to give the Africans life. But just seven minutes later, a corner cross would be met by yet another header from Ibrahima Balde who would tie the score at two and send the match into extra time.
While Senegal held a clear momentum advantage after the 90 minutes, Mexico was the first to strike when Giovanni Dos Santos added his third goal off a defensive lapse from the Lions of Teranga. Pape Gueye gave up the ball to Dos Santos who rifled it into the back of the net.
Senegal battled back but in the second half of extra time, another defensive lapse sealed their fate. Under pressure, Ba headed the ball back to Mane, but the pass was lazy forcing the keeper out of his net. Raul Jimenez got a foot on the ball which Mane parried, but the ball looped up and over to a Hector Herrera who deposited it easily into an empty net.
Next up for Mexico is Japan in the semi-finals.