International Notebook: Wallace, Costa Rica seize opportunity with 1-0 win over El Salvador
Heading in to a pivotal World Cup Qualifying match against El Salvador last Friday, Costa Rica had its back against the wall as a defeat to La Selecta would condemn the Ticos’ hopes of qualifying for the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Rio.
The 1-0 win secured at the Estadio Cuscatlán in San Salvador by Costa Rica sees it leapfrog El Salvador in CONCACAF’s Group B standings. The Ticos, now in second place with seven points need at least a draw when they face Guyana in their final Round 3 match on Tuesday night in San Jose, Costa Rica to advance to the Hexagonal for a fifth consecutive time.
Portland’s Rodney Wallace made his third straight appearance for Costa Rica, coming on as an 8minute sub for fellow MLS player Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake). Wallace previously appeared in the Ticos back-to-back losses to Mexico in September and has been included in Costa Rica’s roster for all but one match of Round 3 qualifying; he now has nine caps for his country.
Timbers defender Steve Purdy was included on the game-day roster for El Salvador, but did not see action for a second consecutive qualifier after playing the full 90 at center back for La Selecta’s first trio of matches in Round 3.
Though not yet eliminated from World Cup qualifying, El Salvador is now in a precarious position, two points behind Costa Rica for the final qualifying spot in Group B with its final game coming on the road against undefeated group leader Mexico in Torreon.
Coverage of the match between El Salvador and Mexico can be seen on Univision, Univision Deportes Network or UnivisionDeportes.com, beginning Tuesday evening at 5:30pm PT.
Lovel Palmer and Jamaica ran into a bit of a snag while on the road in Guatemala. Seeking retribution from their earlier matchup, La Azul y Blanco found the victory they were looking for as they beat Jamaica 2-1 on Friday.
Coming into the match with a three-way tie between Jamaica, Guatemala and the US, each team had the top spot in their respective table on the line. However, with the win, Guatemala now sits in a tie with team USA with 10 points. Jamaica remains with seven points and sits third in the table.
Guatemala’s midfielder Carlos Figueroa first put his team on the board in the 15th minute. In the second half, Reggae Boyz striker Luton Shelton received a penalty kick to even the score at 1-1. Guatemala was not done though as ex-MLS forward Carlos Ruiz scored the game-winner in the 85th minute.
Portland's Palmer started and played a full 90 minutes for the Reggae Boyz.
Jamaica will look to stay towards the top of the table A with a victory over Antigua and Barbuda while Guatemala will take to the pitch against team USA (ESPN 2, 4pm PT); both matches on Oct. 16.