Some people say friendlies don't matter. That was far from true about the CONCACAF Gold Cup tune-up between Mexico and Costa Rica at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. The game was an audition of sorts for the Copa America Centenario, which still must decide its venues for the 2016 international tournament.
With a natural grass surface placed on top of the stadium's usual artificial turf, the two CONCACAF powers played to an exciting 2-2 draw, with each team scoring a pair of goals in one half -- Costa Rica roaring out to a 2-0 lead in the opening half, and Mexico striking twice quickly to come back and earn the draw.
A crowd of 53,269 was on hand to see the event, which went well by all accounts. Here are the colorful images captured from field level as the two sides battled for 90 minutes in the sweltering Central Florida heat in front of a pair of rabid fan bases, especially Mexico's throngs of visiting supporters.