• Thursday Mar 28, 2013

    Costa Rica bounces back, blanks Jamaica

     SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - Costa Rica scored a goal in each half and rejuvenated its World Cup Qualifying campaign, defeating Jamaica 2-0 on Tuesday in front of a capacity crowd at the Estadio Nacional.

    It was the Central American champion's first win in three final round outings, lifting it out of last place on four points. Conversely, the loss dropped the Reggae Boyz to the bottom of the six-team table with two points.

    After losing 1-0 to the United States in adverse weather conditions on Friday in Colorado, the Costa Ricans returned to San Jose for their first home match of the final round. Judging from the comprehensive performance, the Ticos were more than content to be on familiar ground.

    Only two months ago, Costa Rica defeated Honduras 1-0 at the same stadium to capture its seventh UNCAF Copa Centroamericana title and qualify for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The good feelings returned in abundance against a Jamaican side that has scored only once over the course of 270 Hexagonal minutes.

    The Reggae Boyz started quickly, forcing a full-stretch save in the third minute from Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

    Costa Rica responded resolutely to the early wake-up call and went ahead in the 22nd minute. Alvaro Saborio fed defender Michael Umaña, who drilled a shot past Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.

    The visitors should have leveled in the 43rd minute through Luton Shelton. The 27-year-old weaved past three defenders in the penalty area before his point-blank attempt was saved by Navas.

    Twelve minutes after the break, Jamaica's Marvin Elliott shot wide from 25-yards out. From that moment on, it was all Costa Rica.

    Joel Campbell, 20, remained extremely active for the home side, but failed to find the back of the net on numerous occasions.

    In 77th minute, though, he provided near inch-perfect service to Saborio, who could not connect from close range.

    Then, with eight minutes left on the clock, second-half substitute Diego Calvo offered a moment of absolute magic to give his team a 2-0 lead. The Alajuelense striker, who celebrated his 21st birthday on Monday, dribbled into the left side of the Jamaican box, danced around three defenders and curled an effort inside the far post.

    Costa Rica returns to qualifying action on June 7 against visiting Honduras, while Jamaica will take on Mexico three days earlier at home.

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