San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Las Ticas

Costa Rica women's football team buried by US 5-0 in Olympic qualifying opener

The bad news for Costa Rica women’s football team is that it drew the world champion United States in its group. The good news is that it can still qualify for the Olympics if it gets second place.

Costa Rica began the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying with an unsurprising 5-0 loss at the hands of the defending World Cup and Olympic champs in Frisco, Texas. Now the Ticas will have to fight to gain the second spot in Group A to advance in the round-robin bracket. They are in a deep hole in terms of goal differential and sit behind Mexico, which beat Puerto Rico 6-0 in the group opener.

In Wednesday’s blowout, star U.S. forward Alex Morgan scored the first of her two goals just 12 seconds into the game, which is believed to be the fastest goal in the history of the U.S. women’s team. Then, it didn’t take long for FIFA World Player of the Year Carli Lloyd to respond with a goal of her own in the ninth minute. The former World Cup champions are looking to make a sixth straight Olympic Games, where they won gold the last time around in 2012.

Costa Rica’s defense was predictably outclassed by players like Morgan and Lloyd and was unable to mount any rebuttal with its own pair of stars, Shirley Cruz and Raquel Rodríguez. The latter was named the top player in women’s collegiate soccer this past season.

Costa Rica will play Puerto Rico on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying consists of two groups of four teams each, and only the top two from the eight total teams are granted a spot in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Ticas are now 0-13 all time against the United States. Costa Rica had never scored against the U.S. until the last match between the two sides, a 7-2 U.S. win on Aug. 19.

Contact Michael Krumholtz at mkrumholtz@ticotimes.net

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