Costa Rica (pictured) celebrates after scoring against visiting Trinidad & Tobago in a World Cup qualifier on June 13, 2017, in San Jose, Costa Rica.
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – All the goals were scored in the first half as Costa Rica (3W-2D-1L, 11 points) earned a 2-1 win over visiting Trinidad & Tobago (1-0-5, 3) in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Tuesday night at the Estadio Nacional.
The result gave the Costa Ricans sole possession of second place on 11 points, three behind Mexico (4-2-0, 14) and three ahead of the United States (2-2-2, 8). T&T remained in last place, losing for a third consecutive match without scoring a goal.
Francisco Calvo gave the host a 1-0 lead in just the first minute, when he headed home from the edge of the six-yard box off Joel Campbell’s in-swinging corner kick from the right.
The Trinidadians leveled in the 35th minute. Joevin Jones rolled a pass from the left across the top of the penalty area to Kevin Molino, who took a touch before snapping off a left-footed shot from 20-yards out that right-diving goalkeeper Keylor Navas touched, but couldn’t prevent from entering the net.
In the 44th minute, a moment of brilliance from Bryan Ruiz proved to be the difference. The 2016 CONCACAF Player of the Year received a pass from Marco Ureña, eluded a defender and then – from the top-left side of the 18-yard box, sent an effort with the outside of his left foot past diving goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams and into the right side of the net.
Costa Rica snapped a three-game winless in 2018 WCQ play, while Trinidad & Tobago has scored one goal or fewer in its last seven games in the competition.