Costa Rica's Melissa Herrera (left) is challenged by Tamires of Brazil during their FIFA Women's World Cup match June 17, 2015 in Moncton, Canada. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
MONCTON, Canada – A late Raquel goal lifted Brazil (3-0-0, 9 points) to a 1-0 win over Costa Rica (0-2-1, 2 points) in the last group stage match of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup for both teams at Moncton Stadium on Wednesday night.
Brazil finished atop Group E with maximum points from three matches, while the Costa Ricans were eliminated after ending up in third place with two points.
“I’m proud and honored to represent my country here, and I’m sure that all my players share those emotions,” Costa Rica coach Amelia Valverde said. “We might not have an army in Costa Rica, but they still fought like warriors.”
The South American champion had more of possession and the better opportunities, but was stymied by a resolute Ticas defense throughout.
Goalkeeper Dinnia Diaz did well to parry a Beatriz shot from 10-yards out over the crossbar and then denied Rosana from close range. The 27-year-old also dived to her right to push aside a Raquel shot from just inside the box.
"We didn’t have much possession of the ball, which really tired us out,” Valverde added. “Whenever we got it back, we no longer had the wherewithal to do anything with it in an attacking sense.”
Raquel, though, would finally solve Diaz in the 83rd minute. The midfielder was played behind the Costa Rica defense and into the right side of the box by Andressa, which gave her time to direct a shot inside the far post from seven-yards out.
Costa Rica had one chance to equalize when Melissa Herrera took a touch into the penalty area, but the Brazilian defense quickly recovered and swarmed the midfielder before she was able to shoot.
“A lot of people thought we would left in a bucket-load of goals against Brazil,” Valverde finished. “We’re happy that we showed how defensively solid we could be.”