- Associated Press - Saturday, June 27, 2015

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - For a half, it looked as if Mexico’s “A” squad was suffering from the same malaise as the team that exited quickly from Copa America.

It took just 10 minutes in the second half Saturday to change that perception.

Giovani Dos Santos and Javier Hernandez scored 2 minutes apart to quickly erase Mexico’s two-goal deficit in a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica in a friendly in preparation for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Dos Santos, one of several El Tri regulars returning to the roster, scored from a sharp angle 8 minutes into the second half to finally bring the pro-Mexico crowd at the Citrus Bowl to its feet.

Hernandez, who struggled to get into Real Madrid’s lineup this season, quickly tied it with a header in the 55th minute. Carlos Esquivel, a second-half substitute, sent a cross from the right that Hernandez redirected past goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado.

Mexican defender Miguel Layun nearly won it in the 84th minute, firing a shot past Alvarado from the right about 10 yards out. The goal was disallowed, though, when Hernandez was flagged for offside in the sequence.

The outburst came after Mexico coach Miguel Herrera changed formations at halftime, switching from a 5-2-3 to a 4-4-2. Defender Hector Moreno came off for Jose Juan Vazquez, who joined with a withdrawn Dos Santos to give the squad more command in the midfield.

Though the result still extended Mexico’s winless streak to six games, including two draws and a loss at the Copa America, the second half brought encouragement as the Gold Cup’s opening matches loom in two weeks.

Dos Santos, Hernandez and goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa were among 22 fresh players called into the squad. Defender Miguel Angel Herrera was the lone holdover, and he didn’t get into Saturday’s contest.

It took just 3 1/2 minutes for Costa Rica to put the new roster on its heels, though, as David Ramirez converted the Ticos’ first venture deep into Mexico territory.

Taking a pass over the top from Joel Campbell, Ramirez dribbled into the box and struck a low shot that skipped underneath Ochoa.

Costa Rica made it 2-0 in the 36th minute after a pinball sequence wound up in the back of the Mexican net. Ramirez’s centering pass from the left skipped off teammate Johan Venegas, then Ochoa’s hands and Layun’s leg for what was scored as an own goal.

Alvarado got the start in Costa Rica’s goal for the injured Keylor Navas, who aggravated an Achilles injury earlier this month in a friendly against Spain. Midfielder Bryan Oviedo also is out with a broken foot, and coach Paulo Wanchope also opted not to use striker Alvaro Saborio until the 82nd minute.

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