Las Ticas beat Mexico to make semifinals of Olympic qualifiers
Just a few days after starting Olympic qualifying play with a 5-0 loss to the United States, Las Ticas are one win away from making it to Rio de Janeiro for their first ever Olympic games.
Monday’s 2-1 win over Mexico lifts the Costa Rica women’s soccer team to the final four in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying, where it awaits a match with Canada on Friday. Rising forward Raquel Rodríguez, the women’s NCAA player of the year, scored both of Costa Rica’s goals in the decisive victory that gives Las Ticas a chance to make history.
After scoring a hat trick in the rout over Puerto Rico on Saturday, Rodríguez came back with an early goal in the ninth minute against Mexico.
The 22-year-old Rodríguez scored again on a penalty kick in the 57th minute that came after she was tripped in the box by a Mexican defender. Her five goals are the most of any player in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying group stages.
Mexico’s Maribel Dominguez kept the game alive with a ridiculous bicycle-kick goal in the 79th minute and then sent a seismic scare into Las Ticas when she careened uncontested down the sidelines in extra time before barely missing a shot that sailed far right of the net.
Las Ticas qualify to the semifinals as the second-place finisher of Group A, where they will play Canada, the first-place finisher of Group B. The winner automatically qualifies for the Olympics as one of the top-two CONCACAF teams. Though Costa Rica will get to avoid the United States, which it has yet to beat in 13 matches, it has a daunting challenge ahead of it with the Canadians. The two-time CONCACAF champions earned bronze in the 2012 Olympics.
Costa Rica and Canada will kick off Friday at 4:30 p.m. Costa Rica time from BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas for a spot in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
You may be interested
Wild Wednesday: Raising orphaned baby raccoonsThe Tico Times - October 23, 2019
Every other Wednesday, we bring you an adorable photo and the brief story of an animal at Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary…
Postcards from Guanacaste: The province’s beautiful beachesThe Tico Times - October 23, 2019
If you love the ocean, Guanacaste's beaches are hard to beat. There's Tamarindo, the tourist town popular with beginner surfers,…
Photo of army ants in Costa Rica wins international awardThe Tico Times - October 23, 2019
Costa Rica's striking natural beauty looks almost as good on camera as it does in person. Don't just take our…