Costa Rica open in style with 3-0 win over Panama

July 5 – Costa Rica opened their Concacaf W Championship challenge in style with a 3-0 win over Panama.

It is the first time these two nations have met in a Concacaf W finals, and it was an impressive start for the Costa Ricans who at 37th are the fourth highest ranked Concacaf team in the world rankings. Panama are ranked 57th.

Costa Rica were on the scoresheet after just eight minutes when Portland Thorns midfielder Raquel Rodriguez scored from a corner taken by Cristin Granados.

On 24 minutes Costa Rica doubled their lead when Glasgow City striker Priscilla Chinchilla, pressuring inside the Panama box, won the ball, laying off a pass to Maria Paula Salas to fire home.

Two minutes later and Costa Rica would have been three up if Yenith Bailey in the Panama goal hadn’t blocked Melissa Herrera’s shot.

Costa Rica kept the pressure up and in the 54th minute a VAR review awarded them a penalty after a foul by Katherine Castello. Costa Rican captain Katherine Alvarado stepped up to fire home and put the result beyond doubt.

Costa Rica face Trinidad and Tobago on Friday where a win will guarantee them a semi final slot of Canada beat Panama.

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