Hernandez, Araujo score in 1st half, Mexico beats Costa Rica

MEXICO CITY (AP) Javier Hernandez and Nestor Araujo scored in the first half, and Mexico overcame the absence of half a dozen players to beat Costa Rica 2-0 on Friday night in a World Cup qualifying match.

Hernandez scored on a cross from Carlos Vela to open the score in the seventh and Araujo added a goal on a header in the 45th.

Hernandez scored his 46th goal with the Mexican team and tied Jared Borgetti as the all-time leading scorer.

''We are very happy because he missed on the same play during the week and were joking that hopefully he was going to score it in the game, and he did,'' Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio said. ''We believe that he*s a great finisher and a great team player.''

With the win, Mexico remains undefeated and has seven points after three rounds to take sole command in the six-nation tournament. Costa Rica stays on six points and is second and Panama is third with four. Honduras has three and plays later against the United States, which is trying to win its first points.

The top three teams qualified for the Russia 2018 World Cup.

Mexico beat Costa Rica for the first time since September 11, 2012, when they prevailed 1-0.

The Mexicans will play against Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday and Costa Rica plays Honduras.

''We are not beaten, we are in one piece and waiting for Tuesday,'' Costa Rica coach Oscar Ramirez said.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.