Up against regional rivals of the calibre of two-time world U-20 champions the United States, traditional powers Canada and fast-improving Mexico, Costa Rica’s attempts to reach the finals had been thwarted time and again. That was until Las Tricolores’ qualifying campaign for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Germany 2010, when they made sure of a historic first appearance at the global showpiece.
At the North, Central America and Caribbean qualifying event on Guatemalan soil, Las Ticas showed remarkable resolve to bounce back from a 1-0 opening defeat against Canada to book a semi-final spot with wins over Guatemala and Cuba, 3-0 and 3-1 respectively. And though denied a place in the final by the USA after a 2-1 last-four reverse, Costa Rica again picked themselves up to grab the third and final available qualifying berth with a 1-0 victory over Canada.
Having built their game around a solid backline and the goals of lethal front-runner Raquel Rodriguez, who top scored in the preliminary phase, Las Tricolores will be confident of making a splash on their first appearance at this level. And such ebullience would appear to be well-placed, after they pushed global superpowers USA all the way and ensured Canada will be watching Germany 2010 from home.
Facts and figures
This will be Costa Rica’s first appearance at a FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Priscila Tapia (goalkeeper), Paola Alvarado (defender), Katherine Alvarado (midfielder), Raquel Rodriguez (striker).
10 - The number of goals struck by prolific 17-year-old forward Rodriguez over the entire qualifying period, despite being her team’s youngest player.
|11||Raquel RODRIGUEZ CEDENO|
|12||Raquel RODRIGUEZ VASQUEZ|