Soccer -Futbol- is the passion of the Ticos, there is no doubt about it. When La Sele (the National Team) plays, the country goes wild. This last Friday, September 3rd, Costa Rica had an important game in Haiti.
La Sele is seeded in Group B of the 4th round of the CONCACAF (North and Central America and all the Caribbean islands) qualifiers with Panama, Haiti and Jamaica. Costa Rica came to this Friday´s game needed only 1 point to advance to next round, with two games left to finish the round – one against Haiti and one against Panama).
The scenario for the Ticos looked good and everyone was confident Costa Rica was going to be present in the next and final round before the World Cup. The game was boring. Haiti has raised his playing level a lot, but still the game did not offer any excitement. The Ticos were happy with an even score because that would give them the point they needed, so there was no need to risk an injury or another difficult situation.
The first half finished with a 0-0 on the board. The second half was no different. However, in the middle of the half, Randall Azofeifa caught a rebound outside and box, and kicked it hard into the net, in what turned out to be an amazing goal; nothing the Haitian goal keeper could do despite the good game he had. This goal was enough for La Sele to win the game and win the three points from the game.
Now, La Sele will join Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago in the next round. Two more spots are available and the last two qualified teams will be decided Tuesday when the final round of this staged is played. The teams with the best chances to advance are Honduras and Canada, who will play each other; and the US, Guatemala still has a mathematical chance but it is almost impossible that they will advance.
Costa Rica will be facing Panama in San Jose, in a game that will decide who advances first and who advances second in Group B.
La Sele has given the Ticos another chance to celebrate and enjoy. Costa Rica goes wild when La Sele plays and wins, and the best stage of the qualifiers is about to begin, in November 2016.