Costa Rica vs. Belize: Final score 1-0, Ticos escape with fortunate win

Douglas C. Pizac-USA TODAY Sport

Costa Rica was sloppy again, but still picked up another win thanks to a Belize own goal.

For the second straight match, Costa Rica wasn't near their best. But for the second straight match, Costa Rica came away with the win, beating Belize 1-0 to keep pace with the United States atop Group C.

Costa Rica and the U.S. are both on three points heading into the final matchday, when they play each other, but the Americans have a superior goal difference so the Ticos will have to win to top the group. Belize is without a point, but so is Cuba, so a win against the Cubans in their final group stage match will be enough for third place and possibly a spot in the quarterfinals.

The Ticos had the upper hand for most of the match, totaling 14 shots to Belize's eight and winning 59% of the possession, but it didn't lead to much. Celso Borges had a good chance, but he missed the frame and most of Costa Rica's other shots were speculative or wayward.

When the second half started much like the first, it looked like Belize had a chance to pull off an unexpected draw. It would have been a massive result for the Belizeans, but it was not to be and worst of all, Costa Rica's goal was all Belize's doing.

Costa Rica got free down the right and while they did get a cross away, it looked to be a harmless one. Belize had defenders tracking bal and marking runners, one of which was Dalton Eiley. And when the cross found Eiley, it looked like the Belize defense would hold off the Ticos yet again, but Eiley ended up redirecting the ball into his own net.

Belize was heartbroken. Their chance at their first point in their first Gold Cup was gone. Instead, a sloppy Costa Rica had taken all three, but sloppy or not, the points count all the same and the Ticos found themselves sitting joint top of Group C.

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