After a tense win over Canada last Saturday, Costa Rica’s Under-20 women’s soccer team will be heading to the World Cup tournament in Germany in July.
It’s the first time in the tournament’s six-year history that the women’s team has qualified, and they had to beat out two-time champion Canada to do it. Only Mexico and the United States from the North American, Caribbean and Central American league (CONCACAF) will accompany Costa Rica to the tournament.
Costa Rica grabbed the 1-0 win over Canada with a free kick taken by Katherine Alvarado in the 19th minute. The Tica lofted the ball over the head of Canadian keeper Cynthia LeBlanc from 35 meters out. Despite strong pressure from the throughout the game, the Canadians weren’t able to sneak the ball past Costa Rican keeper Priscilla Tapia.
The game came at the end of a 16-game playoff tournament in Guatemala, in which Costa Rica came in third. Final tallies from the qualifying matches place Costa Rica’s Raquel Cedeño as the top scorer (with 10 goals), followed closely by two players from Trinidad and Tobago.
The women’s Under-20 team is not the only Tico youth team to experience success on the international stage. The men’s Under-20 team advanced to the World Cup semifinals in Egypt in October of last year.