Canada ties with Costa Rica

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

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

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