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Costa Rica beats El Salvador to keep World Cup dream alive

Two second-half goals and a highlight-worthy save from Keylor Navas led the Costa Rica men’s national team to a 2-1 victory over El Salvador on Sunday night at the National Stadium.

The result leaves Costa Rica with six points and in fifth place of the CONCACAF octagonal, the final qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The top three teams from the tournament earn an automatic berth, while the fourth-place team enters an intercontinental playoff.

After El Salvador struck early on a driving shot from Jairo Henríquez, La Sele began taking command of the match and finally earned a breakthrough after halftime.

Bryan Ruiz culminated a creative play started by Joel Campbell, equalizing the contest with a back-post header. Another veteran, Celso Borges, flipped the scoreboard from the penalty spot after José Guillermo Ortiz was fouled.

A diving save from Navas in the final minutes secured the victory.

Sunday’s referee was criticized by Nayib Bukele, the Salvadoran president, who took to Twitter to complain about the penalty-drawing foul and a later red card.

Unfortunately for Bukele, retweets don’t change results.

La Sele will next face the United States — which just lost at Panama — on Wednesday evening in Columbus, Ohio.

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