SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Celso Borges scored two goals and Costa Rica snapped a two-game losing streak with a 4-0 win over the host Dominican Republic in an international friendly on Wednesday at the Estadio Quisqueya.
The game was the Central American side’s last before it resumes the final round of 2014 World Cup Qualifying with encounters next month against the United States (September 6) and Jamaica (September 10).
Buoyed by the support of a home crowd attending the first full international in Santo Domingo since 2004, the Dominicans turned in a strong first-half performance. Defenses dominated for the most part, but after a scoreless opening forty-five minutes, Costa Rica emerged from the break in a determined mood.
The Ticos started to pressure higher up the pitch and that tactic paid dividends in the 48th minute. After a neat exchange with Yendrick Ruiz, Borges netted his first goal.
The match remained at 1-0 for the next 23 minutes until the Borges completed his brace with a volley following some good work by Junior Diaz.
Six minutes later, Pablo Herrera – a late call-up to the squad – made it 3-0 off an assist from Victor Nuñez, who was born in the Dominican Republic.
The visitors closed their goal account with two minutes left in regulation, as Diego Calvo found Mauricio Castillo for a simple strike.
Costa Rica improved to 11-3-3 in 2013, bouncing back from consecutive losses in July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup to the United States and Honduras. It has conceded one goal or less in 16 of its 17 matches.
The Dominican Republic fell to 1-0-1 after beating Haiti 3-1 in its only other international outing this year.