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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Costa Rica women’s soccer to face Canada for spot in the Olympics

Costa Rica’s Olympic dreams will be decided by a final 90 minutes.

After winning a Central American tournament and then reaching the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament semifinals, the women’s national team will face Canada on Friday for a berth in the Tokyo Summer Games.

In the other semifinal, the United States will face Mexico. 

Both matches will be held at Dignity Health Sports Park near Los Angeles, California. The final is Sunday at the same venue. 

“We know that the dream is intact, that we must play the perfect match and that each one must take the extra mile because there is nothing else, ”said captain Shirley Cruz. “It’s 90 minutes where you have to give your soul, your life and your heart.”

Costa Rica’s women’s team has never qualified for the Olympics. It has appeared in one World Cup, bowing out in the 2015 group stage.

La Sele reached the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament by winning a Central American round-robin it hosted last October. Costa Rica then beat Panama and Haiti to advance from the group stage, though it most recently suffered a 6-0 defeat at the hands of the United States.

Canada has traditionally been CONCACAF’s second-strongest women’s program behind the United States. The North Americans have appeared in seven World Cups and earned bronze at the 2016 Olympics. 

They are currently eighth in FIFA’s global rankings.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. CST on Friday. Previous matches in the tournament have been televised on Teletica and Repretel in Costa Rica, and streamed live on CONCACAF’s social-media pages.

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