• Monday Feb 15, 2016

    Rodriguez Cedeño seals Costa Rica spot in CWOQ semis

    Raquel Rodriguez Cedeño (pictured) scored twice in Costa Rica's win over Mexico in the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship on February 15, 2016, in Frisco, Texas. (Photo: Mexsport)

    FRISCO, Texas – Raquel Rodriguez Cedeño scored two goals and Costa Rica earned a spot in the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship semifinals with a 2-1 win over Mexico on Monday at Toyota Stadium.

    The Ticas claimed one of the top-two places in Group A, with the United States – which previously earned a berth in the final four -- needing only a draw against already-eliminated Puerto Rico later in the evening to finish atop the table.

    Mexico got a wonder goal from Maribel Dominguez – her fourth in three games – to halve a deficit, but it wasn’t enough to prevent it from missing out on advancement for the first time in the four-edition history of the competition.

    The star of night, though, was Rodriguez Cedeño, who struck once in each half to take her tournament-best goal total to five.

    The 22-year-old forward put Costa Rica ahead 1-0 in the ninth minute, controlling a ball inside the box that was initially miskicked by teammate Maria Barrantes and – while falling backwards – snapped off a left-footed shot from 12-yards out that beat goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago at the right post.

    Rodriguez Cedeño doubled the advantage in the 57th minute, converting her own penalty kick after she was fouled in the box by Karla Nieto.

    A potential Mexico comeback looked to be kick started in the 79th minute, when Katie Johnson back-headed a throw-in from the left, deep in Costa Rica’s end, towards the right corner of the six-yard box. Dominguez was there and -- with her back to the goal – looped a bicycle kick over the outstretched hands of goalkeeper Dinnia Diaz to make it 2-1.

    The Central American side held on for the victory, setting up a semifinal date on Friday at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston with either Canada, Guyana or Trinidad & Tobago from Group B.

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