Costa Rica greatly increased its chances of reaching the knock-out stage of the Copa America by defeating 10-man Bolivia 2-0 on Thursday. Costa Rica went through Josue Martinez’s goal in the 60th minute and put the game away with Joel’s Campbell’s strike in the 79th, ending a dominant second half. Bolivia’s Ronald Rivero was ejected in the 71st minute for using his arm to stop a goal-bound shot. Colombia leads Group A with 4 points, followed by Costa Rica with 3, Argentina 2, and Bolivia 1. Each team has one match to play in the group stage, with the top two teams progressing to the quarterfinals, along with the best two third-placed teams in the three groups. Costa Rica will take on host Argentina on Monday, knowing a draw should be enough to reach the quarterfinals, while Colombia is scheduled to face Bolivia. While talking about the game Joel Campbell said “We put on a show tonight and we could have won by three, four or five goals.”
Martinez gave Costa Rica the lead by scoring in a rebound from a shot Bolivia keeper Carlos Arias failed to catch. Campbell hit the crossbar minutes later on a free kick. Allen Guevara then missed a penalty in the 72nd before Campbell broke through for the second.
Costa Rica’s David Guzman also hit the post seven minutes before the end of the match.
Following Martinez’s goal, Costa Rica players held up the jersey of Dennis Marshall, who was killed in a car crash last month shortly after Costa Rica’s last match in the Gold Cup, the championship of North, Central America and the Caribbean.
Costa Rica and Mexico are using mostly under-23 Olympic-style squads in this tournament because they are not part of the South American confederation and are playing as guests.
Costa Rica coach Ricardo La Volpe, who was born in Argentina, will be ready for Monday’s showdown against the Gauchos. Argentina struggled to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday against Colombia and will need to beat the Ticos to be sure of reaching the last eight.
Written By: Isidori Mtabo
Photo Credit: rcolonna