Katherine Alvarado (#10) jumps in celebration after scoring for Costa Rica against host Guatemala in a single-match playoff for a place in the 2015 Pan American Games on May 26, 2014, in Guatemala City.
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – Costa Rica qualified for the 2015 Pan American Games women’s football tournament after defeating host Guatemala, 3-0, in a single-game playoff on Monday at the Estadio Mateo Flores.
Katherine Alvarado gave the Ticas an early 1-0 lead, while Raquel Rodriguez Cedeño followed with goals in the 35th minute and two minutes into second-half stoppage time.
The match pitted the group winners from the Central American Women’s World Cup Qualifying competition, which took place May 20-24, also in Guatemala City. Costa Rica and Guatemala had already earned tickets to the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, the confederation’s final round of qualifying for Canada 2015.
The Guatemalans started strongly, but the game changed when Alvarado struck in the 13th minute.
"In the first few minutes, Guatemala started with everything, intent and opportunities to harm us, but after 10 minutes we managed to find the game and learned to handle it,” said head coach Carlos Avedessian. “I'm very happy with the group because it is pure love for the shirt and are closely linked by achieving all of this.”
Alvarado, who won the Golden Ball award as the competition’s best player, put the success and performance of the team ahead of hew own.
"This award is very gratifying, but first is that we qualified for CONCACAF and the Pan American Games as we prepare very well and had clear objectives,” said the 23-year-old midfielder, who played at the 2008 FIFA U-17 and 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups . “It helped us that we are a family and that we love the team.”
The 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship will be played in the United States at yet to be named locations during the fall of 2014. It will award three direct tickets to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. A fourth CONCACAF team will contest a playoff with a South American rival for another World Cup place.
The 2015 Pan American Games will take place in Toronto, Canada.
CENTRAL AMERICAN WOMEN’S WORLD CUP & PAN AMERICAN GAMES QUALIFYING AWARDS
Guatemala City, Guatemala – Estadio Mateo Flores
May 20-26, 2014
Fair Play: Honduras
Golden Boot (top scorer): Amarelis De Mera (Panama), 7 goals
Golden Ball (best player): Katherine Alvarado (Costa Rica)
Golden Glove (best goalkeeper): Dinnia Diaz (Costa Rica)
GOALKEEPERS: Dinnia Diaz (Costa Rica), Yoselin Franco (Guatemala)
DEFENDERS: Daniela Andrade (Guatemala), Dania Carolina Reyes (Honduras), Daniela Maria Cruz (Costa Rica), Candace Noemí Johnson (Panama)
MIDFIELDERS: Katherine Alvarado (Costa Rica), Marcela Barrera (Guatemala), Ana Lucia Martinez (Guatemala), Maria Monterroso (Guatemala), Wendy Acosta (Costa Rica)
FORWARDS: Amarelis De Mera (Panama), Natalia Mills (Panama)