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Mexico needs extra time to defeat Senegal

London, England (Sports Network) - Mexico advanced to the semifinals of the men's Olympic soccer tournament on Saturday, downing Senegal 4-2 at Wembley after extra time.

Jorge Enriquez and Javier Aquino put Mexico in front but Senegal was able to level the score before the final whistle thanks to Moussa Konate and Ibrahima Balde.

Extra time belonged to Mexico though, as Giovani Dos Santos and Hector Herrera capitalized on defensive miscues from the Senegal defense to turn the match in favor of El Tri.

Mexico came close to getting off the mark inside the opening three minutes when Marco Fabian pounced on a loose ball in the box and lashed a shot toward goal, but his effort rattled the crossbar before being cleared by the Senegal defense.

It was a sign of things to come though, as Mexico went a goal up shortly after.

Dos Santos delivered an inch-perfect free kick into the box and Enriquez provided a soft touch on the glancing header to guide the ball past Ousmane Mane and into the far lower corner.

Mexico doubled its lead in the 63rd minute when Aquino capitalized on a flurry of miscues by the Senegal defense. Multiple failed clearances allowed the ball to squirt to Aquino and the Mexican midfielder made no mistake in slotting home from close range.

But Senegal clawed its way back with two goals from headers in the span of seven minutes.

Konate cut the deficit in half in the 69th minute, notching his tournament- leading fifth goal of the Olympics.

Balde then ensured a dramatic finish as he nodded home a cross in the 76th minute to equalize for the African side.

Neither side was able to steal a goal in regulation, so extra time was needed to separate the evenly-matched nations.

Less than five minutes into extra time, Mane pulled off the biggest stop of the tournament thus far, denying Fabian with a brilliant reaction kick save.

Mane was left helpless shortly after though, as a giveaway from the Senegal defense allowed Dos Santos to collect possession and calmly slot a shot to the far post.

Herrera sealed the result in the second period of extra time, taking a failed back-pass and heading it past the on-rushing Mane.

Mexico will remain in London to face Japan at Wembley on Tuesday.

08/04 12:26:29 ET


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