• Monday Jan 08, 2018

    Costa Rica finds stride ahead of U-20 Women’s Championship

    Action from the under-20 women’s friendly between Costa Rica (dark blue jersey) and Jamaica on January 5, 2018 . (Photo courtesy of Federación Costarricense de Fútbol)

    ALAJUELA, Costa Rica – Costa Rica shows all the signs of peaking at the right time as the 2018 CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship nears.

    Last week, the Ticas completed a sweep of visiting Jamaica in a two-match friendly series, earning a 1-0 win on January 3 and a 5-1 triumph two days later.

    “The victory is very important,” midfielder Mariela Campos said after the second match. “The goals give us a lot confidence and etc… I think that it is very important, but, more than the victory, which was obviously something very important, we know that we have to try various lineups and see how we are getting our rhythm, so that was important.”

    Catalina Estrada scored in each game for a total of three goals, while Hilary Corrales, Julieth Navarro and Priscila Chinchilla struck for one goal each. The performances against the Reggae Girlz brought back memories of Costa Rica’s Central American Qualifying campaign, where it went a perfect 3W-0D-0L, netting 18 goals and conceding none.

    “These friendlies against Jamaica are very important,” remarked defender Maria Paula Coto. “We are heading into something that is going to be hard. Costa Rica in the Under-20 World Cup is everyone’s dream. We know that Jamaica is a team that battles a lot, good physically, and that works for us because there [at the CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship] they [the other opponents] are going to be just as good or better.”

    At the CONCACAF event, which will be played January 18-28 in Couva, Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica will face Canada (Jan. 18), Haiti (Jan. 20) and the host nation (Jan. 22) in Group A play.

    Coto realizes that the Ticas’ road to a third-ever U-20 Women’s World Cup appearance will not be a simple one and that even more effort is required.

    “We go into [the tournament] motivated and obviously knowing that we have to work a lot because it’s a different level there,” she finished. “We are going to continue preparing ourselves for what is coming up.”

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