Costa Rica’s national team is out of the first FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup after three losses to first-round opponents Germany, Korea DPR (North Korea) and Ghana.
The Ticas opened the tournament with a 5-0 loss to eventual group winners, Germany. Although Raquel Rodríguez nearly had a goal in the opening minutes, the Germans – one of the favorites to win the whole tournament – proved dominant.
Determined not to let the loss get them down, the Ticas nevertheless celebrated Rodríguez’ 15th birthday that night at the hotel.
The Ticas lost their two other firstround games by only one goal each.
Rodriguez notched the team’s only tournament goal in a well-fought 1-2 loss to Korea DPR, who are advancing with Germany to the bracket phase.
Goalie Priscilla Tapia had a standout game in what was otherwise a more lackluster match against Ghana, although even the win for Ghana was not enough to get them to the quarterfinals.
Both head coach Juan Diego Quesada and Capt. Katherine Alvarado said physical conditioning was the Ticas’ biggest limitation, as well as that of the other Latin teams, against fit European, Asian, and African teams.
The girls were the first squad to represent Costa Rica in a FIFA women’s World Cup tournament.
“Women’s soccer needs a lot of support so that Costa Rican can have better World Cup showings,” Alvarado told La Nación.
In other international soccer play, local giants Saprissa are out of the CONCACAF Champions League after a 0-2 loss to Honduras’ Marathón in Group A in this tournament between regional club teams.
Saprissa beat Marathón 2-1 when el Morado hosted the Honduran squad in San José in late September.