After a match devoid of goals but full of tension, near-misses and vivid reactions from the stands, Costa Rica walked away from its World Cup qualifier against Panama with a 0-0 draw Thursday night.
La Sele left their hearts on the field in a hard-fought match in the fifth game of the final CONCACAF qualifying round for the World Cup to be held in Russia in 2018. The team played a man down starting in the 54th minute when Giancarlo González received a red card, but continued to knock on the door with shots on goal right up until the final whistle.
Costa Rica leaves the game gaining one point for a total of eight, holding onto second place behind Mexico, which defeated Honduras 3-0 tonight.
Panama also retains a shot at a World Cup spot, since the qualifying round will provide three guaranteed spots in the tournament, with a fourth available to the winner of an intercontinental playoff.
Fans didn’t see much play out of renowned Costa Rican goalie Keylor Navas, fresh off his Champions League win in Wales with Real Madrid on Saturday. However, his every touch of the ball, no matter how routine, sparked a roar of approval from the appreciative crowd.