Ortiz sparkles at Copa in Costa Rica debut
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Jose Guillermo Ortiz (middle) scored two goals in his Costa Rica debut against Belize in the Copa Centroamericana on January 15, 2017, in Panama City, Panama. (Photo: Imagenes en Costa Rica)

PANAMA CITY, Panama – There is just something about the Copa Centroamericana that inspires a Costa Rica debutant.

More than two years after Johan Venegas marked his first cap by scoring in a 3-0 Copa win over Nicaragua, Jose Guillermo Ortiz did one better on Sunday, netting twice as the Ticos topped Belize by the same score.

The newly-acquired D.C. United forward struck in the 25th and 65th minutes as two-time defending champion improved to 1W-1D-0L, good for second place after the second of five match days.

Funnily enough, Ortiz’s partner up front in attack was Venegas, who struck for his third career Copa goal in the 51st minute off the rebound of an initial Ortiz attempt. As a result of that tally, Venegas became the first player to score in each of the last two Copa editions.

“First, I am very thankful to God for giving me this opportunity of debuting with the national team,” Ortiz said after the game. “A forward always has to think about goals, but here it’s most important that the national team won.”

In December, Ortiz moved from Alajuelense to Herediano only to be loaned shortly afterwards to D.C. United, a team he scored two goals against in a Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal on February 26, 2015.

With his club situation settled, Ortiz is poised to make another mark on the Copa, when Costa Rica faces Nicaragua on Tuesday.