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Costa Rica nips Canada in friendly
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EDMONTON, Alberta -- Jairo Arrieta scored the only goal and Costa Rica beat Canada 1-0 in an international friendly at Commonwealth Stadium on Tuesday.

Even though Canada had a majority of the possession in the game's early moments, the Central Americans made the breakthrough in the 15th minute.

Arrieta went down under a challenge by Samuel Piette and was awarded a penalty for his efforts. The Columbus Crew forward, who was the top scorer at the 2013 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana, dispatched his penalty to the right of diving Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan.

Canada nearly leveled two minutes later, as Nik Ledgerwood delivered a cross from the right side to Issey Nakajima-Farran. The midfielder ran onto the ball and hit a first-time shot that blazed just over the crossbar.

The host stuck to its possession game, generating two chances before halftime. Defenders Doneil Henry and Andre Hainault both had headers go wide of the target.

Costa Rica had the ball in the net in the second half, but Osvaldo Rodriguez's effort off a high, lopping cross was nullified after it was ruled he shoved Ledgerwood prior to winning the header.

Arrieta almost netted a second, only to see his header crash off the crossbar.

With the momentum shifting Costa Rica's way, Kevin Cunningham released a hard shot from the right that Borjan could only punch out for a corner.

Ledgerwood and Costa Rica's Christopher Meneses were ejected in the 75th minute for scuffling in the corner.

The Ticos, preparing for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Honduras (June 7), Mexico (June 11) and Panama (June 18), are now unbeaten in 11 of their last 12 games (8-3-1)

 
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