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Canada books QF place at U17s
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By Michael Lewis

LA CHORRERA, Panama -- Canada booked a spot in quarterfinals of the 2013 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship by playing Costa Rica to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday night.

The result gave the Canadians (1-0-1, four points) the Group B title and boosted Trinidad & Tobago (1-1-0, three points) into the knockout round as well while the Ticos (0-1-1, one) were eliminated from the competition.

Arington Torres had given Costa Rica a 1-0 lead, but Hanson Boakai connected for the equalizer in the 76th minute for Canada at Estadio Agustin Muquita Sanchez.

The Costa Ricans had the best chances in a scoreless first half. David Valverde sent a shot over the crossbar in the 21st minute. Berny Burke fired a left-footed attempt that goalkeeper Marco Carducci saved in the 33rd minute. Jeison Seas just missed the goal on the right with an 18-yard attempt six minutes later. And Jordan Medina hit the crossbar from 16 yards in the 43rd minute.

Costa Rica's Randall Leal was yellow carded by referee Jonathan Polanco (Guatemala) for diving in the penalty area while vying for the ball along with Canada's Kevon Black in the 37th minute.

Two minutes into first-half stoppage time, it appeared Canada had taken the lead on Alex Comsia's header from point-blank range off a long free kick, but it was called back for offside.

The Ticos continued to dominate play early in the second half, but continued to misfire on their attempts. Five minutes in, Leal made a nice run down the left side and unleashed a 16-yard shot that sailed over the crossbar.

Costa Rica's persistence paid off in the 59th minute. A long pass from the left side found a streaking Torres, who beat defender Ian Fernandes before chipping the ball over Carducci from 12 yards for a 1-0 advantage.

The goal appeared to have awaken the Canadians, who leveled the game at 1-1 in the 76th minute on Boakai's rising 20-yard shot that goalkeeper Jorge Jara could not stop.

Boakai almost connected for the game winner in the 85th minute, but he put a right-wing feed over the crossbar.

Two minutes later, Carducci was called on to preserve the tie as he parried a free kick over the net.

 
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