Costa Rica (pictured) celebrates after scoring against Martinique in the CONCACAF Women's Championship on October 21, 2014, in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Mexsport)
CHESTER, Pennsylvania -- The 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship (CWC) has been one of many firsts for Costa Rica.
The Ticas defeated Mexico for the first time.
They won their group for the first time, finishing 3-0-0 and outscoring their foes, 9-2.
Now the Costa Ricans want to accomplish yet another first: qualify for the FIFA Women's World Cup by defeating Trinidad & Tobago in a CWC semifinal at PPL Park on Friday.
"Undeniably, this was a better result than we could have expected," Costa Rica coach Garabet Avedissian said. "When you put your faith in God, it helps you triumph against adversity.
"It's the way we believed in our group, the way we believed in our players. When you have a group that is technically very talented like this one, it does make you dream about possibilities."
It has everyone dreaming. If the Central Americans reach Canada next year, it would be an enormous achievement.
"It will be the biggest satisfaction because these are a group of people who have been working for a very long time," defender Daniela Cruz said. "Just being here right now, the day before, the 90 minutes that will decide whether we go to the World Cup or not, it is just amazing."
The Costa Ricans will have three shots at reaching Canada 2015. They can make it easy on themselves by winning Friday. If not, they will play either the United States or Mexico in the third-place match Sunday. And if not, they will play Ecuador in a home-and-home playoff.
Costa Rica's success did not come out of the blue, as Avedissian cited the players' recent participation at the FIFA Under-17 and U-20 World Cups.
"More than anything of the results attained in this specific tournament, a lot of factors have come together at this moment," he expressed. "This is a group of young ladies who have played together. They have gotten to know each other. It wasn't hard for them to have the same idea in terms of what they wanted to accomplish."
Avedissian is bullish on Costa Rican women’s soccer.
"Costa Rica, despite being a small country, despite being geographically limited, has a bright future and we know that," finished the 60-year-old.
"There is really no ceiling for women's football in the country."