Leal lifts Costa Rica U20s over T&T

Costa Rica's Randall Leal (pictured) celebrates after scoring against Trinidad & Tobago in a CONCACAF Under-20 Championship match on February 22, 2017, in san Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo: Carlos Borbon/Straffon Images)

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Costa Rica (1W-0D-1L, 3 points) bounced back from a loss in its CONCACAF Under-20 Championship opener to earn a 1-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago (0-1-1, 1) on Wednesday at the Estadio Nacional.

The result lifted the tournament host into second place in Group C, three points behind El Salvador (2-0-0, 6), which defeated Bermuda (0-1-1, 1) earlier in the day, 3-1, to secure a spot in the classification stage.

 Randall Leal struck for the Ticos’ only goal in the 54th minute, when he slammed a right-footed free kick from 23-yards out into the left side of the net, leaving goalkeeper Denzil Smith motionless.

 The victory was Costa Rica’s victory in the competition in slightly more four years.  On February 20, 2013, it defeated Haiti by the same score in Puebla, Mexico.

 Group C play concludes on Saturday with El Salvador taking on T&T in the opener, followed by a meeting between Costa Rica and Bermuda.  A win by the Costa Ricans, regardless of the other results, will see them progress.