Alphonso Davies Scores Again as Canada Hold Costa Rica in Houston

CAN Goal

Canada celebrate Alphonso Davies goal (Photo: Eric Guzman)

Costa Rica and Canada fought out an entertaining match, which probably has seen both teams qualify for the quarter finals of the 2017 Gold Cup following a 1-1 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium on Tuesday night.

Canada stunned Costa Rica and yet again it was the youngster Alphonso Davies scoring, his third in the tournament, to open the scoring in the 26th minute. Davies made a perfect diagonal run in from the left to get on the end of a perfect ball from Scott Arfield to easily poke home the first goal of the match.

The Costa Ricans got back on level terms in the 42nd minute when David Ramirez earned a corner after a perfect pass. The corner was swung in by David Guzman and found a wide open Francisco Calvo who was able to head it down and in to the back of the net despite Milan Borjan’s best efforts.

CRC Goal

Costa Rica celebrate their equalizer (Photo: Eric Guzman)

Costa Rica started the match seeing plenty of possession in the early going as Canada’s back four often became a back six as Samuel Piette and David Hoilett were forced back. But that decision allowed Canada to defend comfortably and control much of the match.

It should have been 1-0 in the seventh minute as Marco Urena was able to get on the end of a perfect ball and set up Rodney Wallace. But the Canadian defense swarmed back well to get just enough in the way of it and clear the ball.

A corner gave Costa Rica a golden opportunity as Urena was able to swing the ball into the box for Francisco Calvo. Canada left him wide open but he was unable to get on top of the ball, getting under it and heading over the bar.

The lead made Canada’s defending even more impressive as they really went for it to keep Costa Rica out, knowing a win would seal their place in the quarter-finals. Mark Anthony Kaye was impressive to get back and stay on his feet in a crucial play in the 35th minute.

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Bryan Ruiz should have made it 2-1 for Costa Rica in the first minute of the second half as he found space on the edge of the area. Ruiz hit a powerful shot which looked to be curling in to the back of the net but it didn’t curl enough, going just wide and letting Canada off.

Canada had their own chance to make 2-1 on the hour mark when David Hoilett did well to hold off his defender and set up Scott Arfield. Arfield was held by his defender but attempted to stay on his feet before falling and losing the ball.

Canadian hearts were broken in the 67th minute when their wunderkind, Davies, was forced to leave the field with an injury. He was able to walk off the pitch being replaced by former Scottish junior Fraser Aird.

Borjan made a big error in the 75th minute which should have been punished as he dropped a ball right at the feet of an opponent. The Canadian keeper recovered well and dived down quickly to keep Costa Rica out.

Costa Rica went agonizingly close twice in the 81st minute, first in general play and then again on a corner. Both times Canadian keeper Borjan was able to make a strong save, in the second instance holding on to the ball to let his team clear.

Slideshow Photos all by Eric Guzman

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