Monday, March 28, 2022

Things decided in CONCACAF

 El Salvador had no chances to qualify following their recent tie with Jamaica, so in today's qualifier against Costa Rica they had only honour to play for as I went to cheer for them in a lovely sunny afternoon in San Salvador.

Costa Rica did not seem like a team that had a World cup spot to play for, but at the same time their experienced players gave the Salvadoran defense problems, and Costa Rica were leading 1-2 at halftime on goals by Anthony Contreras and Joel Campbell, that most of all exposed Salvadoran defensive mistakes. At the same time Costa Rica let El Salvador play the ball around, but without getting really dangerous, except when Cristian Gil Hurtado was excellently played into scoring position to pass Keylor Navas.

Second half was poor: Costa Rica defended and spent time, while El Salvador continued playing the ball around, but seldomly getting really dangerous.

The victory puts Costa Rica in the top four for CONCACAF, and they may still get third spot if El Salvador manages to take points from Mexico. 

In the meantime the long expected qualification of Canada was confirmed as they trashed Jamaica 4-0 at home (they lost their first match in qualification last week to Costa Rica), and it will be interesting to see if they can continue their regional success at the world stage, 36 years after their previous World Cup in 1986 (from which I have an anecdote for another blog-post).

In the meantime congratulations to the four teams from CONCACAF, and for El Salvador, they have to continue growing, and should have a chance at the next World Cup.

El Salvador-Costa Rica

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