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Costa Rica women’s Olympic hopes dashed in 3-1 loss to Canada

Las Ticas’ quest for their first ever Olympic bid will have to wait another four years.

After two straight wins in the group stages of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying, the Costa Rican women’s football team’s momentum stonewalled against a talented Canadian team in Friday’s 3-1 semifinals loss in Houston, Texas.

Costa Rica’s offense generated no pressure against Canada’s faster and bigger lineup, which features all-time great Christine Sinclair. The 32-year-old veteran — who has 161 international goals, including six against Costa Rica — put home the game’s first two scores, including a beautiful turnaround shot that Sinclair rocketed past Tica goalie Dinnia Díaz.

Costa Rica finally got on the board in the 72nd minute when Raquel Rodríguez, the budding young star who won the NCAA Player of the Year honors this past season, netted her sixth goal of qualifying play with a penalty kick that made it 2-1.

Rodríguez showed the only sign of life for the offense for much of the game and made an admirable effort to get Costa Rica a goal in the first half with a diving kick that put the ball in Canada’s box. However, goalie Erin McLeod’s quick response denied an oncoming Costa Rican forward from making a play on the ball.

The Canadians put the game away with a goal from Deanne Rose in the 85th minute.

With an automatic Olympic qualifying berth already in place, Canada will move on to the finals, where it will play the winner of the United States vs. Trinidad & Tobago semifinal.

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