Mayron George scored his first international goal, Elias Aguilar put in his second of the tournament, and Costa Rica sealed their place in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup quarterfinals with a 2-1 victory over a resolute Bermuda side on Thursday night.
The Ticos will play Haiti on Monday with the top spot in Group B on the line, and most likely the opportunity to avoid tournament favorites Mexico in the quarterfinals.
Nahki Wells converted a penalty to pull a goal back for Bermuda only five minutes after going two behind. Dale Eve made seven saves to keep the Gombey Warriors in striking distance of the Ticos, but couldn't prevent the tournament debutants from being eliminated with a game remaining in the group phase.
- 30' - CRC - Mayron George | WATCH
- 54' - CRC - Elias Aguilar | WATCH
- 59' - BMU - Nahki Wells (PK) | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: More than any other team, Bermuda have done the most to validate Concacaf's decision to expand the tournament field to 16 teams for the first time in 2019, playing two more established opponents to within a goal. On the balance of play so far, they'll be favored in their group finale against Nicaragua in a match between teams seeking their first-ever Gold Cup victories.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: With Costa Rica getting everything they could handle from their Caribbean opponents, they needed a moment of quality to get the result everyone expected. It came nine minutes after halftime, when Aguilar took Bryan Oviedo's pass and unleashed a strike that dipped just beyond Eve's dive, skipping off the turf before nestling inside the right post.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Dale Eve. His team may have lost, but Eve was a steadying presence over an exceptional 90-minute performance to keep his team in with a chance. That's a rare trait in goalkeepers from the less polished Concacaf nations, and an invaluable one as Bermuda continue the work of building their program.
- CRC: Monday, June 20 vs. Haiti, Concacaf Gold Cup Group B (9 pm ET | FS1, UniMas, UDN)
- BMU: Monday, June 20 vs. Nicaragua, Concacaf Gold Cup Group B (6:30 pm ET | FS1, UniMas, UDN)