BRADENTON, Florida– Costa Rica and Panama punched their tickets to the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship with victories on Wednesday on matchday 2 of the Central American Zone of CWC Qualifying at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
Costa Rica (2W-0D-0L, 6 points, 15GF, 1GC) will play in the CWC for the seventh time in its history after posting a 4-1 win over Nicaragua.
Fabiola Sanchez Jimenez gave the Ticas a dream 1-0 start with a goal in the 3’, but a sturdy Nicaraguan defense would keep Costa Rica in check until the hour mark.
Costa Rica would finally break through for a 2-0 lead in the 61’ thanks to Raquel Rodriguez and six minutes later Maria Fernanda Barrantes Rojas stretched it to 3-0.
The Pinoleras would not go away though, and Doriana Nachelly Aguilar Omeir cut the deficit to 3-1 in the 71’, but Costa Rica finished strong and earned the 4-1 final scoreline with Wendy Patricia Acosta Salas’s goal in the 84’.
Meanwhile, Panama (2-0-0, 6, 10GF, 2GC) will compete in its third CWC thanks to its 6-2 triumph over El Salvador.
It was no easy task for the Canaleras, who found themselves behind after Damaris Beatriz Quelez Jimenez earned El Salvador a 1-0 lead in the 38.
But goals in the 41’ and 42’ from Natalia Didelka Mills Urrunaga and Karla Paola Riley Serracin, respectively, gained Panama the lead.
El Salvador fought right back and moments before halftime Brenda Damaris Ceren Delgado evened things up at 2-2.
Panama took control in the second half and was led by Kenia Kristel Rangel Villareal, whose hat trick (58’, 69’, 90+1’), coupled with Lineth Isabel Cedeno Valderrama’s goal in the 80’, paced Panama to the three points.
The Central American Zone of CWC Qualifying will wrap up on Friday with El Salvador facing Nicaragua and Costa Rica dueling with Panama.
Central American Zone of Concacaf Women’s Championship Qualifying
IMG Academy, Bradenton, Florida United States
Monday, August 28
Panama (4) Nicaragua (0)
Karla Paola Riley (2) 9´y 68´, Yomira Pinzon 49´, Lineth Cedeno 90+ 4
Costa Rica (11) El Salvador 0
Daphne Herrera (3 ) ( 5 ', 45 + 1' and 55 ' Shirly Cruz (2) (19' and 21 ') Katherine Alvarado (9 '), Gloriana Villalobos (30'), Raquel Rodriguez (36 '), Cristin Yorleny Granados Gomez 64', Fabiola Villalobos (82 ') and María Salas (84').
Wednesday, August 29
Costa Rica ( 4) Nicaragua (1)
Fabiola Sanchez Jimenez 3´, Raquel Rodríguez Cedeno 61´, María Fernanda Barrantes 67´, Wendy Patricia Acosta 84´., Doriana Aguilar Omeir 71´
Panama (6) El Salvador (2)
Natalia Millis 41´, Karla Paola Riley 42´, Kenia Rangel Villarreal 58, 69´ and 90´+1 Lineth Cedeno Villarreal 80´, Damaris Beatriz Quelez 38´, Brenda Damaris Ceren 45+1
2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship
Dates: October 4-17, 2018
Venues: Sahlen’s Stadium (Cary, North Carolina), H-E-B Park (Edinburg, Texas) and Toyota Stadium (Frisco, Texas).
Teams: North America (3), Caribbean (3) and Central America (2)
Number of teams to qualify for the World Cup: 3 (Champion, runner-up and third place). The fourth place finished will dispute a home-and-away intercontinental playoff, with Argentina, the third-place finisher of CONMEBOL’s 2018 Women’s Copa America. The winner of the playoff will qualify to the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019.