Costa Rica took on Panama at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San José last night for the Concacaf World Cup Qualifiers 2022 and kept its World Cup hopes alive by pulling out a thrilling 1 – 0 win over Panama.
Coming off a 2-1 win over Honduras in their last match and looking to improve their chances of qualifying for the World Cup there was an intense atmosphere with a must win mentality.
“If we didn’t win today, our chances were slim. Panama is a really good team, so we were fortunate to get the win (…). The goal is a great relief for Costa Rica, for our effort and because we were able to get the three points,” said Ruiz.
Before last night’s game, Costa Rica was in 5th on the table and the 3 points they earned with last night’s victory allows them to have a more realistic chance of going to the World Cup.
Costa Rica’s win was also welcome news to the United States, Canada and Mexico as it improves their chances of qualifying as well. Up and until last night Panama had won three of their last four matches which included a win against the United States.
With those victories, Panama had put themselves in contention to break into the top three and although it would have been helpful for Panama to have won, they still have the advantage when it comes to qualifying for the World Cup. It just makes their games going forward much more consequential.
Even with the win, Costa Rica is still in 5th place but the good news they are now only two points behind Panama and a possibility of a playoff game against the winner of the Oceania qualifier.