Costa Rica (pictured) celebrates after defeating Guatemala to win the Copa Centroamericana TIGO USA 2014 on September 13, 2014, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. (Photo: Mexsport)
LOS ANGELES -- Costa Rica captured a record eighth Copa Centroamericana TIGO USA 2014 (CCA) title, overcoming a one-goal deficit to register a 2-1 victory over Guatemala in the final at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night.
Juan Bustos' first career international goal broke a 1-1 tie in the 56th minute for the Ticos, who had an equalizing score by Bryan Ruiz. Carlos Ruiz's penalty-kick conversion gave the Guatemalans an early lead.
The opening half was an entertaining 45 minutes in which both attacked with great frequency.
Guatemala's Marco Pappa had the first opportunity, driving the ball over the crossbar after Ruiz dispossessed a defender of the ball in the eighth minute.
Four minutes later, Costa Rica’s Ruiz tested Ricardo Jerez with a looping shot from distance that the goalkeeper slapped away with two hands.
The Chapines drew first blood in the 25th minute, two minutes after defender Roy Miller was whistled for tripping Ruiz in the box. The Municipal star took the ensuing penalty kick, sending it up the middle as goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton dove to his left. It was Ruiz's second goal of this competition and the seventh of his CCA career.
The Costa Ricans equalized in the 28th minute after Sergio Trujillo knocked down Armando Alonso to set up a free kick. Ruiz had little trouble finding the target, firing a 28-yard shot that nestled into the upper right corner.
Guatemala’s Ruiz, who turns 35 on Monday, was a handful.
In the 43th minute, he tried to chip Pemberton with an audacious attempt from the center circle, only to see the ball barely miss the top of the goal. The forward thought he had equalized by scoring off a spectacular bicycle kick from eight yards in the 67th minute, but he was ruled offside. He had another goal disallowed for offside with two minutes left in normal time.
By virtue of the win, Costa Rica also qualified for the 2016 Centennial Cup America (Copa America), which will also be played in the United States.