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Costa Rica rallies to top Venezuela in friendly
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Costa Rica's Bryan Ruiz (red jersey) looks to dribble against visiting Venezuela on May 27, 2016, in San Jose. (Photo courtesy of Federación Costarricense de Fútbol)

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Costa Rica won for the fourth straight time at home, rallying for a 2-1 victory over visiting Venezuela in an international friendly on Friday.

The Ticos conceded a goal for the time during that stretch, but Cristian Gamboa and Ariel Rodriguez netted after Salomon Rondon had given the South Americans a lead.

Both teams are preparing for the upcoming Copa America Centenario, which will be played June 3-26, 2016, in the United States.

Rondon put Venezuela ahead 1-0 in the 30th minute, finishing coolly with his left foot in the left side of the box from 12-yards out off an assist by Josef Martinez.

After goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton made a tremendous save on a Juan Anor effort to prevent his team from falling further behind, Costa Rica gained more fluidity and leveled in the 41st minute. A right-footed attempt from 36-yards out by Gamboa appeared to take a slight deflection off a defender, before skipping just inside the left post past diving goalkeeper Jose Contreras.

Half-time substitute Rodriguez, on his international debut, struck for the game-winner four minutes into the second half. Bryan Ruiz found the Thailand-based forward in the left side of the box. After having his path partially blocked, Rodriguez took a step back and snapped a right-footed shot from 16 yards that found the right side of the net.

Costa Rica opens Copa America Centenario play on June 4 against Paraguay in Orlando, Florida.

 
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