Costa Rica's Joel Campbell (right) eludes Paraguay defender Gustavo Gomez during their international friendly on March 5, 2014, at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo: Imagenes en Costa Rica)
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Costa Rica scored a goal in each half to defeat visiting Paraguay 2-1 in an international friendly on Wednesday at the Estadio Nacional.
The win was the Ticos’ eighth straight at home, ending its overall losing streak at three games.
Joel Campbell, who scored for Greek side Olimpiacos in a 2-0 UEFA Champions League win over Manchester United on February 25, gave the host a lead three minutes before the interval.
The 21-year-old forward deftly chipped to himself as he received a pass in the middle of the field, nearly 30 yards from goal. He eluded a defender with an intelligent sweeping move to his left, before striking from 22-yards out. The ball took a slight deflection off the foot of Paraguay’s Cristian Riveros and floated over stranded goalkeeper Roberto Fernandez.
Saborio’s goal in the 73rd minute may have been less of an individual effort, but it was flawless in its execution.
Substitute Michael Barrantes slipped a defense-splitting pass into the box for the Real Salt Lake forward to hit a left-footed shot through Fernandez’s legs from 13-yards out while in stride.
Gustavo Gomez halved the deficit in the 85th minute, when he headed home a Jorge Rojas corner kick.
In seven all-time meetings between them, Costa Rica and Paraguay have three wins each.