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Valiant effort falls short as La Sele finishes just shy of Olympic dream

February 7, 2020

For more than 70 minutes, Costa Rica went toe-to-toe with one of the world’s best women’s soccer teams. 

But La Sele conceded in the 72nd minute and couldn’t generate enough offensive firepower to respond as they lost, 1-0, to Canada on Friday night in Carson, Calif.

The result eliminated Costa Rica from the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in the semifinal round. The North American victory means Canada will join the winner of Friday’s United States-Mexico match as the region’s representatives at the 2020 Olympics. 

Jordyn Huitema’s tap-in finish was the difference in a match that was otherwise highlighted by Costa Rica’s organized defense.

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.

Despite the loss to Canada, the tournament was a positive for La Sele. Costa Rica reached the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament by winning a Central American round-robin last October and then beat Panama and Haiti earlier this month to advance from the group stage.

And Friday, Costa Rica showed it can compete with one of the world’s best teams — but despite their efforts, they’ll be watching the Tokyo Olympics from home.

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