Mexico beat Paraguay to set up Brazil semi in women's Gold Cup

LOS ANGELES: Mexico overcame a determined Paraguay 3-2 on Sunday to reach the semi-finals of the CONCACAF women's Gold Cup and set up a clash with Brazil

The United States face Colombia in the last quarter-final later on Sunday with the winner set to face Canada in the last four.

Lizbeth Ovalle scored twice for Mexico to take her tally for the tournament to five goals but after taking a 3-1 lead there were some nervy moments for her team.

Mexico went into the game on a high after beating the United States 2-0 in their final group game on Monday – only their second ever victory over their rivals.

Ovalle fired Mexico in front in the 31st minute after she was found at the back post by Mayra Pelayo and drilled home a low left-foot shot.

Kiana Palacios then missed a glorious opportunity to double the lead, putting the ball over the bar from point blank range.

The second came, four minutes after the interval, when from an Ovalle corner, right-back Karen Luna fired a shot on the half-volley which took a deflection as it flew into the net.

Paraguay had a chance to get back in the game from the penalty spot but Jessica Martinez's weak effort was saved by Esthefanny Barreras.

The South Americans then threw themselves forward and reduced the deficit with Camila Barbosa's header from a corner in the 64th minute.

But just five minutes later, Mexico restored their two goal cushion with Stephany Mayor breaking free before her shot was pushed away by Alicia Bobadilla only for Ovalle to pounce on the loose ball and turn it home from a tight angle.

But Paraguay were in no mood to roll over and struck again when Rebeca Fernandez timed her run behind the defence to perfection and coolly finished to make it 3-2.

Ovalle, searching for her hat-trick, forced a brilliant diving save out of Bobadilla with a curling free-kick from over 25 yards out and the Paraguay keeper was at full stretch again to reach a superb shot from Karla Nieto. — AFP

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