Joel Campbell and Houston Dynamo FC forward Ariel Lassiter scored in the opening 21 minutes to lead Costa Rica to a 3-1 win over 10-man Guadeloupe in both teams' opening match of Group C at Exploria Stadium Monday.

Costa Rica, which snapped an 11-match winless streak, capitalized on a gaffe by Guadeloupe goalkeeper Yohann Thuram to take an early lead. Thuram dived to grab a routine ball that was flicked on by Jose Ortiz, but he spilled it directly to Campbell. The veteran forward took a touch before firing into the empty net, putting the Ticos in front in the sixth minute.

Campbell had to work a bit harder to double Costa Rica’s lead in the 21st minute. The Monterrey forward made an angled run to latch onto a ball from FC Cincinnati left back Ronald Matarrita, fighting off Guadeloupe defender Steve Solvet before slipping a pass along the six-yard box. That’s where Lassiter pounced to poke in his first international goal.

Matthias Phaeton came inches from pulling Guadeloupe to within a goal two minutes from halftime, curling his 26-yard free kick over the Costa Rica wall, but just wide of the far post.

Raphael Mirval did one better in the fifth minute of first-half stoppage time, raising his right boot at the near post to get a touch on a quickly-taken short corner kick.

Guadeloupe were reduced to 10 men in the 54th minute when Solvet was sent off by 2020 MLS Referee of the Year Ismail Elfath on a straight red card following Video Review for a punch to the chest of Chicago Fire FC defender Francisco Calvo as the two jockeyed in the box on a Guadeloupe free kick.

Celso Borges struck for an important insurance goal in the 70th minute, the beneficiary of a sensational service by Columbus Crew winger Luis Diaz. The Ticos' all-time leader in Gold Cup appearances slid in for the first-time finish.

Inside the final 10 minutes, Elfath pointed to the spot after Phaeton went down in the box following contact with Calvo. But a quick check of the Video Review monitor reversed the initial decision.

Goals 

  • 6’ — CRC — Joel Campbell 
  • 21’ — CRC — Ariel Lassiter 
  • 45’+5’ — GLP — Raphael Mirval
  • 70’ — CRC — Celso Borges

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Like Jamaica in the earlier Group C match, Costa Rica raced out to an early two-goal lead, but needed Celso Borges’ strike midway through the second half to finally put away pesky Guadeloupe in Luis Fernando Suarez’s managerial debut. The Gwada Boys had their moments after a horrific start, but the senseless red card by Solvet and Borges’ insurance tally put them away.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: His father (Roy) scored four goals in 34 caps for the USMNT and on Monday, Ariel Lassiter put his name in Costa Rica’s goalscoring books with a poacher’s finish.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Campbell was the danger-man for the Ticos, capitalizing on a gift for a goal, nearly having a brace three minutes later and setting up Lassiter's well-taken finish.

Next Up

  • CRC: Friday, July 18 vs. Suriname | 8:30 pm ET | 8:30 pm ET | FS1, UniMás, TUDN | Concacaf Gold Cup Group Stage
  • GLP: Friday, July 18 vs. Jamaica | 6:30 pm ET | FS1, UniMás, TUDN | Concacaf Gold Cup Group Stage