Costa Rica's Luis Hernandez (white jersey) tries to avoid a Bermuda tackle during a CONCACAF Under-20 Championship match on February 25, 2017, in San Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo: Straffon Images)
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- Costa Rica (2W-0D-1L, 6 points) overcame a one-goal deficit to rally for a 2-1 Group C victory over Bermuda and secure a spot in the classification stage of the 2017 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship at the Estadio Nacional on Saturday.
Randall Leal snapped a 1-1 tie in the 50th minute as the Ticos completed group play with six points, finishing second in the group behind El Salvador (2-0-1, 6) on goal difference (+1 to +2). Bermuda (0-1-2, 1) finished fourth and was eliminated from the competition.
Leal started and finished the goal-scoring sequence. He fed Jimmy Marin at the top of the box and the forward tapped the ball back to Leal, who fired a shot past goalkeeper Detre Bell for his second goal of the tournament.
The Bermudians scored the first goal against the run of play as the Central American side enjoyed more of the possession in the opening half.
They took advantage of an error by Costa Rica keeper Mario Sequeira in the 26th minute. Sequeira booted a goal kick straight to Oneko Lowe on the left side. Lowe worked his way into the penalty area, beating defenders Yostin Salinas and Pablo Arboine, before depositing the ball past Sequeira for his second goal of the competition.
The Costa Ricans, who entered the match with only one goal in their previous two encounters, equalized just before halftime on an own-goal. Leal floated a corner kick into the area as defender Tevahn Tyrell, trying to clear the ball, slotted it on two bounces into the lower left corner of his own net in the 43rd minute.
Bell was outstanding in the first half, making three important saves that kept the host off the scoreboard. His most memorable stops came on in the 31st minute, denying Andy Reyes and then Leal from point-blank range.