Costa Rica topped Guadeloupe 3-1 to open its 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup with a full three points in Group C play.
Costa Rica got a dream start early in the first 45 minutes, courtesy of goal by veteran FW Joel Campbell in the sixth minute.
Guadeloupe goalkeeper Yohann Thuram was not able to fully control a ball and it spilled out of his hands right to Campbell’s feet, who slotted the ball into the net, giving Costa Rica a 1-0 lead. It was Campbell’s 20th international goal and his first in a Gold Cup since 2011 when he scored against Cuba.
Fifteen minutes later, Costa Rica doubled their lead with a combination play created by Campbell, as teammate Ariel Lassiter latched onto a pass from Campbell to score his first international goal with Costa Rica, making it a 2-0 match.
Costa Rica dominated the rest of the first half until the last 60 seconds when Les Gwada Boys were able to pull a goal back. On the last play of the half and on Guadeloupe’s first corner kick of the game, Raphael Mirval stabbed home a corner kick and at the near-post to make it a 2-1 contest.
However, in the 50th minute, Guadeloupe’s comeback task grew tougher when they were left with 10 men after Steve Solvet was sent off.
Veteran Costa Rica MF Celso Borges, who on Monday broke the Costa Rica record for Gold Cup games played (22), then stretched the Ticos’ lead to 3-1 when he made a deep run toward goal unchallenged and blasted the ball into the net. Borges now has 24 goals and 135 caps with the national team.
Costa Rica were able to see things out the rest of the way to claim the three points and the top spot in Group C.