After a tense win over Canada on Saturday, Costa Rica´s under-20 women´s soccer team will be heading to the World Cup tournament in Germany in July.
It´s the first time in the tournament´s six year history that Costa Rican has qualified and they had to beat out two-time champion Canada to do it. Only Mexico and United States from the North American, Caribbean and Central American league (CONCACAF) will accompany Costa Rica to the tournament.
Costa Rica grabbed the 1-0 win over Canada with a free kick taken by Katherine Alvarado in the 19 th minute. The Tica lofted the ball over the head of Canadian keeper Cynthia LeBlanc from 35 meters out. Despite strong pressure from the Canadians throughout the game, they weren´t able to sneak the ball passed Costa Rican keeper Priscilla Tapia.
The game came at the end of a 16-game playoff tournament in Guatemala, in which Costa Rica came in third. Final tallies from the qualifying matches place Costa Rica´s Raquel Cedeño as the top scorer (with 10 goals), followed closely by two players from Trinidad and Tobago.
The women´s under-20 team is not the only Tico youth team to experience success on the international stage. The men´s U-20 team advanced to the World Cup finals in Egypt in October, and managed to hold the Brazilian soccer powerhouse to a 0-1 game.