Action from the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup match between Costa Rica (white jersey) and Paraguay at Olympic Stadium on August 9, 2014, in Montreal, Canada. (Photo: FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
MONTREAL – A late penalty kick by Jennifer Mora broke a stalemate and lifted Paraguay to a 2-1 win over Costa Rica in the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup on Saturday at Olympic Stadium.
Despite losing their second straight game, the Ticas maintain the possibility of advancing to the quarterfinals out of Group D. For that to happen, they must beat New Zealand on Wednesday, hope that France tops the Paraguayans and then need a favorable outcome in goal difference.
Paraguay took a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute, when Silvana Romero – surrounded by two defenders in the box -- received a pass, took a quick touch and beat charging Noelia Bermudez from 12-yards out.
Undaunted, the Costa Ricans went on the attack and looked the stronger side.
Melissa Herrera fired over the crossbar and then fed Katheryn Arroyo, who shot high as well.
Costa Rica struck for a deserved equalizer in the 29th minute with Herrera in the middle of the action once again.
The influential 17-year-old forward did well to collect a bouncing ball in the box, take on a pair of defenders and send a cross on the ground to the edge of the six-yard box. Michelle Montero was there to slide it home with a defender chasing behind.
Before the interval, a venomous 30-yard free kick by Mora crashed off the crossbar.
With the clock running down, Bermudez raced out to get a ball played into her box. Rather than gain possession, she fouled Maribel Portillo, compelling referee Bibiana Steinhaus to point to the spot. Mora converted the game-winner high into the top-left corner with two minutes left in normal time.