Costa Rica's Shirley Cruz (#10) jumps over a teammate during a CONCACAF Women's Championship match against Mexico on October 16, 2014, in Kansas City, Kansas, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)
KANSAS CITY, Kansas -- Costa Rica took a step towards its goal of reaching the next Women’s World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Mexico on Wednesday in the Group B opener for each in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
The Ticas have never qualified for the FIFA event, but after the win over Mexico, proud head coach Garabet Avedissian was full of praise for their impressive performance.
“We knew that today was a final, that today -- no matter the cost -- we had to take the match,” said Avedissian. “We knew Mexico was going to fight very hard.”
Costa Rica midfielder Shirley Cruz, who plays with Paris Saint-Germain in France, was thrilled with the three points.
“We know that we have to work from the very first minute and we have the result, so we are happy for the win,” the 29-year-old, playing in her fourth World Cup Qualifying campaign.
Though Costa Rica still has to navigate group games against Jamaica (Saturday in Bridgeview, Illinois) and Martinique (October 21 in Washington, D.C.), thoughts of earning a place at Canada 2015 are too strong to ignore.
“It would be a dream because never have they tired,” expressed Avedissian. “This group of girls comes in with a lot of time working. This group has had Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups and the senior national team has not, so that is the dream we believe no one can take from us.”
Soon enough, Avedissian and his team will turn their attention toward Jamaica. In football, however, special moments – such as the one Costa Rica experienced at Sporting Park – are meant to be savored and shared.
“We are going to enjoy it,” Avedissian, 60, concluded. “This group of girls is eager to dream and is eager to live another beautiful thing for Costa Rica. No doubt that we are closer and I believe that today we have every right to celebrate. We have the right to leave tomorrow on an airplane for another final that we have. Enjoy this for our families and above all for God.”