Action from the World Cup qualifier between host Costa Rica and Panama (white jersey) on June 8, 2017, in San Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo: FIFA.com via AFP)
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Despite playing a majority of the second half down a player, Costa Rica (2W-2D-1L, 8 points) held on for a 0-0 draw against visiting Panama (1-3-1, 6) in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup with on Thursday at the Estadio Nacional.
The result means that the Ticos ended the evening in sole possession of second place, while Panama dropped into fourth place behind the United States (2-1-2, 7), which earned a 2-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago (1-0-4, 3).
Costa Rica lost defender Giancarlo Gonzalez to red card in the 53rd minute as its 10-match winning streak at home in World Cup Qualifying come to an end.
A encounter of few chances saw Randall Azofeifa hit the Panama crossbar in the 11th minute with what appeared to be a mishit cross.
Three minutes later, an attempt by Bryan Ruiz – the 2016 CONCACAF Player of the Year – forced an awkward save from Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.
Penedo came up big again in the 90th minute, when he stopped Joel Campbell’s drive from the right side of the box.
June 13, 2017: Panama v Honduras; Costa Rica v Trinidad & Tobago