Costa Rica late show denies Korea Republic
An expertly-taken 89th minute equaliser from Karla Villalobos earned Costa Rica a dramatic 2-2 draw against Korea Republic, denying the east Asians a first win at this level. Though outplayed for periods of the match Las Ticas played with trademark resilience, and their eleventh-hour strike blows the group wide open.
Melissa Herrera opened the scoring on 17 minutes for Costa Rica after prodding the ball goalwards as Korea failed to deal with a long ball, with goal-line technology confirming a clear goal. However, the Taeguk Ladies equalised from the penalty spot just four minutes later as Ji Soyun slotted home.
Just four more minutes on and Korea Republic were in the lead as Kang Yumi delivered a perfect cross from the right allowing Jeon Gaeul to glance home a textbook header.
The second half was an end-to-end affair as both teams sort to press at every opportunity on the Olympic Stadium’s wide open expanses. Both sides had numerous half-chances with the best coming from Costa Rica’s Lixy Rodriguez who fired a long-range effort onto the corner of the frame of the goal.
Korea seemed set for a hard-fought win but Villalobos netted after a well-timed run behind the defence and coolly finished past the exposed Jungmi Kim.
The result leaves Costa Rica second on two points, with Korea Republic and Spain on one apiece. Brazil guaranteed their progression earlier in the day with a 1-0 win over Spain.
Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Cristin Granados (Costa Rica)