Canada ties with Costa Rica
Alphonso Davies scored in the first half and Milan Borjan made several brilliant saves as Canada held on for a 1-1 tie with Costa Rica on Tuesday to remain undefeated at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Teenage phenom Davies opened the scoring with his third goal of the tournament in the 26th minute for Canada who are the surprise co-leaders atop Group A after beating French Guiana 4-2 in their opener. The 16-year-old Davies used his blazing speed to race past the Costa Rica defence and hammer a cross from Scott Arfield to the near post past goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton. Davies scored two goals against French Guiana in his Gold Cup debut on Friday.
Davies almost scored again in the 36th minute as he slipped around a defender and picked up the ball but fell before he could get a shot off at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas. Davies left the game after rolling his right ankle early in the second half. At that point the complexion of Canada’s attack changed. Without their main offensive threat, Canada had to sit back and rely on their defence to preserve the tie.
Goalkeeper Borjan did his part, coming up with several diving saves to keep the score level with Costa Rica threatening on almost every corner kick. Francisco Calvo tied it off a corner in the 42nd minute, outleaping a Canadian defender and redirecting the ball past Borjan, who had suffered a nasty black eye in the match against French Guiana. The majority of Costa Rica’s scoring chances in the second half came off corners as the Canadians were guilty of mental lapses on defence and had to be rescued time and time again by Borjan.
The draw means Canada has a share of first place in Group A along with Costa Rica who recorded their first ever win over Honduras in their tournament opening game. Both teams play their final group game on Friday in Texas with Costa Rica facing French Guiana, and Canada meeting Honduras. In the night match, French Guiana and Honduras played to a scoreless draw. Honduras had a 7-6 edge in shots. The top two teams from each of the Gold Cup groups advance to the quarterfinals along with the two best third-place teams. The tournament concludes with the final on July 26 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. —AFP
HOUSTON: Scott Arfield #8 of Canada shoots on goal against Costa Rica in the second half at BBVA Compass Stadium on Tuesday in Houston, Texas. — AFP