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HomeSoccerLa SeleCampbell stars as Costa Rica beats Peru, 3-2

Campbell stars as Costa Rica beats Peru, 3-2

The Costa Rican men’s national soccer team concluded its calendar year on a positive note Tuesday with a 3-2 victory over Peru.

Jonathan McDonald, Allan Cruz and Joel Campbell scored for La Sele, which won its final two games of 2018 on South American soil. Last Friday, Costa Rica defeated Chile in Rancagua.

The results add a touch of optimism to what had been a disheartening streak for La Sele. Prior to the friendly against Chile, they had gone nine consecutive matches without a win, including a disappointing showing in the World Cup.

But against Peru, which had participated in that international tournament, Costa Rica reasserted its identity as a sound defensive side that maximizes attacking opportunities.

After La Sele fell behind early, Campbell set up the equalizer by splitting three defenders and delivering a pass to McDonald near the top of the 18-yard box. The L.D. Alajuelense star took two touches and bulleted a left-footed shot past the Peruvian goalkeeper.

It marked McDonald’s first goal with the senior national team.

Cruz added a second shortly after the half, taking advantage of a lobbed cross from Ronald Matarrita and an out-of-position goalkeeper to finish with an easy header.

Peru equalized, but Campbell’s emphatic strike on a penalty kick secured the winning margin.

Tuesday marked the final match as interim manager for Rónald González. The Uruguayan Gustavo Matosas will head La Sele in future competitions, which includes a February friendly against the United States in San Jose, California.

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