San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

‘La Sele' win games, get robbed

The Costa Rica national men´s soccer team won and lost this weekend: two games and an estimated $17 million worth of belongings, respectively.

Two coaches´ rooms at the Clarion Hotel in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where the regional Central American championship is being played, were broken into right as their game against Panama was starting Friday night.

According to the daily Al Día, two men who had registered at the Clarion as journalists, dressed up as national team players and pretended to be in a hurry to get to the team´s game against Panama. They approached the front desk and asked for new pass card keys for “their” rooms, saying theirs no longer worked. The hotel staff gave them new ones, and the two entered rooms shared by the team´s coaching staff, making off with an estimated $17,000 worth of goods, including all the coaches´ passports, three laptops and a large amount of cash.

The robbery aside, the weekend was still a success for La Sele, and key preparation for the next round of World Cup qualifiers that kick off Feb. 11.

Costa Rica knocked off Guatemala 3-1 Sunday night. The game opened slowly, going into the half with Costa Rica up 1-0 after a goal by Alvaro Sánchez in the 34th minute. It picked up in the second when Guatemala scored one goal in the 51st to equalize, but Costa Rica responded with two back-to-back goals by Pablo Herrera in the 59th minute and Roberto Segura in the 61st.

Two Guatemalan players received red cards, leaving the team to play with only nine men on the pitch for the last 25 minutes.

Costa Rica shut out a dreary Panama 3-0 in a more well-played game on Friday afternoon. Andy Furtado scored twice and Sánchez, who came on as a substitute, bagged the other.

Costa Rica will play their semi-final game next Friday against the second-place finisher – either El Salvador or Honduras – in the other bracket.

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