Costa Rica 4, Nicaragua 0 | 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Match Recap

Costa Rica made easy work of their 2019 Gold Cup opener on Sunday, sweeping aside Nicaragua 4-0 to delight the home crowd at Estadio Nacional in San Jose on the occasion of the tournament's first-ever matches to be played outside the United States, Mexico or Canada. 

Heavily favored, Los Ticos made sure it was a festive evening via a strong start, with a 7th-minute opener from Bryan Oviedo and two more goals via Celso Borges and Elias Aguilar providing a 3-0 halftime advantage.

Handed a start at the heart of the hosts' midfield, FC Cincinnati's Allan Cruz capped the comfortable victory with the fourth goal of the night, rifling a firm finish off the underside of the crossbar in the 75th minute.

His FCC teammate Kendall Waston also went the full 90 in Costa Rica's defense, while former Real Salt Lake star Alvaro Saborio made a substitute appearance at the distinguished age of 37.

Goals

  • 7' – CRC – Bryan Oviedo
  • 19' – CRC – Celso Borges
  • 45+1' – CRC – Elias Aguilar
  • 75' – CRC – Allan Cruz

Three Things 

  • THE BIG PICTURE: This was not a night for underdogs. Los Pinoleros, while hard-working, showed why this is just their third Gold Cup appearance in program history. Costa Rica weren't severely tested but showed organization, cleverness and razor-sharp counterattacking nous that could take them far in this tournament. 
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Ticos veteran Celso Borges pushed the score to 2-0 and set the tone for the evening with this long-range missile, made possible by some solid hold-up play from Jonathan McDonald:
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: With a lovely goal, an assist on the night's opener and industrious midfield work throughout, Allan Cruz is a worthy choice.

Next Up

  • CRC: Thursday, June 20 vs. Bermuda (9:30 pm ET | FS1, UniMás, UDN; TSN GO in Canada) | Gold Cup
  • NCA: Thursday, June 20 vs. Haiti (7 pm ET | FS1, UniMás, UDN; TSN GO in Canada) | Gold Cup

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