Costa Rica into first finals

Costa Rica beat Canada in the third-place match of the CONCACAF qualifying competition in Guatemala on Saturday to book their place as the third and final participant from the region at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany. Costa Rica join the USA, who finished first in the region later on Sunday, and runner’s up Mexico at the finals.

The Costa Ricans – who lost to the USA in their semi-final match last week – got the better of Canada in Guatemala City, the only goal of the 1-0 affair coming in the 19th minute from a Katherine Alvarado free-kick that Canuck goalkeeper Cynthia LeBlanc misjudged completely. The win means the Costa Ricans will be travelling to a U-20 women’s showpiece for the first time this July.

The representatives from Europe are already known with England, France, Sweden and Switzerland qualified from UEFA. Asia will be sending Japan and the two Koreas, while New Zealand will represent Oceania and Germany participate automatically as hosts. The regional qualifying competitions for Africa and South America will both take place in February and send two teams each to round out the final field of 16.