Costa Rica’s sub-21 men’s soccer team faces Honduras at 3 p.m. today in a must-win game to advance to the knockout stage of the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games in Colombia.
The women’s team has already advanced after being the only team to complete a clean sweep, winning all three games to reach the top of their group. They will face either Mexico, Nicaragua or Trinidad on Tobago on Friday at 6 p.m. in the semi-finals.
The men’s team, on the other hand, will need to win today after losing their opening game against Colombia. A 3-2 victory against Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday kept their hopes of passing to the knockout stage alive.
All three of Costa Rica’s goals against Trinidad and Tobago came from an early barrage in the first half. Midfielder Randall Leal Arley kicked off the party with a goal in the first 10 minutes and then forward Andres Gomez followed it up with a clean strike for a 2-0 lead a few minutes later.
Then it was Leal again. Trinidad and Tobago’s Darnell Hospedales fouled Costa Rica’s Barlon Sequeira deep in Trinidad and Tobago’s zone to give the young Sele a penalty. Leal took the shot and scored his second goal of the game.
It was the last goal Costa Rica scored that game and Trinidad and Tobago nearly mounted a comeback in the second half.
The multi-island nation scored their first goal in the 60th minute thanks to another penalty and then Nickel Orr scored seven minutes later to make it a one-goal game. Trinidad and Tobago had a flurry of chances in overtime but weren’t able to tie the game.
Trinidad and Tobago has no chance of advancing while Costa Rica needs to beat Honduras today to make it to the knockout stage. If Costa Rica ties today and the game between Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago also ends in a tie; then Costa Rica and Colombia will tie in points, but the goal differential would push Colombia into the knockout stage and leave Costa Rica out.