Costa Rica knocked off Panama in the battle of the unbeatens, but the two still ended with the two Central American berths available in the finals of the FC Women's Gold Cup finals after a busy weekend of qualifying matches.
In the Caribbean Zone, Jamaica took a good first step in claiming one of that zone's three places still available with a 2:0 first leg victory against Haiti.
Jackeline Alvarez scored two more goals to lead Costa Rica to a 4:1 victory against Panama, but Guatemala's 5:1 victory against El Salvador meant neither could pass Panama, giving the canaleras the second berth in the round-robin being contested at Estadio Cuscátlan in San Salvador. Costa Rica's victory gave them the zonal championship.
Under the rules for the Central American Zone qualifying, head-to-head competition is the first criterion if teams are level on points. Panama defeated both Guatemala and El Salvador earlier in the competition, meaning they have already secured advancement with their six points from three matches. Guatemala has completed its four matches, obtaining six points as well, while El Salvador has three points from three matches heading into their final match Tuesday against Costa Rica.
Shirley Bailon scored three goals, including a pair in the second half, as Guatemala ended the host country's dream of advancement.
In Kingston, two goals in the first eight minutes gave Jamaica their first-leg advantage. Tamara Honeywell scored after just six minutes, Alicia James doubling the lead two minutes later, as Jamaica will carry a solid lead into the second leg in Port-au-Prince in two weeks time.