• Wednesday Mar 30, 2016

    Costa Rica tops Jamaica, stays unbeaten in WCQ

    Costa Rica (pictured) celebrates after scoring against visiting Jamaica in a World Cup qualifier on March 29, 2016, in San Jose. (Photo: FIFA.com)

    SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- Group B leader Costa Rica (3-1-0, 10 points) moved closer to clinching a spot in the final round of qualifying in CONCACAF for the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a 3-0 victory over third-place Jamaica (1-1-2, 4) on Tuesday night at the Estadio Nacional. 

    The Central American champion needs only a draw from its last two games to guarantee advancement.  It stayed three points ahead of Panama (2-1-1, 7), which earned a 1-0 win against Haiti.

    Celso Borges put the host ahead 1-0 in the seventh minute, heading home from eight-yards out off Cristian Gamboa’s right-sided cross.

    The advantage was doubled 30 minutes later, when Bryan Ruiz netted his second goal of the current qualifying competition.  Joel Campbell raced down the right flank before placing a through ball to Marco Ureña.  The forward drilled a shot that bounced off goalkeeper Andre Blake, allowing Ruiz to fire in the rebound with his right foot from nine yards.

    Campbell had two chances to extend the lead.  On the hour mark, the Arsenal forward poked a shot from atop the box just wide left.  In the 68th minute, Ruiz stripped Adrian Mariappa of the ball on the left side and placed a cross into the area that Campbell headed wide right.

    The scoreline was completed in the 77th minute, when attempts by Johan Venegas started and ended the sequence.  His first effort from 12-yards out was parried by Blake just beyond the left post.  Ureña gathered the ball and slipped a pass back to an unmarked Venegas, who rolled a left-footed shot into the right side of the net from the left corner of the six-yard box.

    Costa Rica will return to WCQ play on September 2 at Haiti, while Jamaica visits Panama on the same day.

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