Last qualifying cycle, Costa Rica was one of CONCACAF's top teams. They just missed out on qualifying for the World Cup, but they were clearly among the best that the region had to offer. This time around they might not even qualify for the final round of qualifying. The Ticos drew 2-2 with El Salvador at home on Friday to open up World Cup qualifying and with Mexico also in the group, they are behind the eight ball early on.
The match started brilliantly for the Ticos too. Alvaro Saborio scored nine minutes in, then starlet Joel Campbell doubled Costa Rica's lead six minutes later. The Ticos had played just 15 minutes and were already up 2-0. Everything was great, right? Wrong.
Isidro Gutierrez cut the lead in half in the 23rd minute and made a match of things again in San Jose. Then in the 55th minute Osael Romero equalized to stun the Ticos and earn El Salvador a great draw on the road.
After one day of play, Costa Rica and El Salvador are both on one point, two behind Mexico and one ahead of Guyana. Even so, El Salvador is in the driver's seat with the Ticos still having to play them in El Salvador.