TORONTO, Canada — Pouring rain added to the late first-half atmosphere as BMO Field cheered on their “Super Canucks” with chants of “Can-a-da! Can-a-da! Can-a-da!”
The Canadian team needed every advantage it could muster, and it needed to score. Even a 0-0 draw with Costa Rica in Tuesday’s Group B finale would knock them out of the Gold Cup. A win would give it second place and a Sunday date with Group C’s runner-up.
No goals that counted = No knockout round.
Costa Rica advances as the Group B runner-up on goals scored over El Salvador after Jamaica won 1-0 earlier in the night.
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Marcus Haber threatened the Costa Rica goal several times once Canada settled into the contest, but couldn’t beat Esteban Alvarado. While Los Ticos were better in the early stages of the match, the Canucks surged forward and threatened plenty; It was clearly their best match of the tournament.
Benito Floro didn’t change his squad at halftime, and the match was mostly listless outside of the crowd until Haber earned a corner with a gritty dribble job in the corner. Unfortunately, the Crewe Alexandra man head the ensuing ball weakly into the turf.
Haber won yet another free kick in the 65th minute, but Maxim Tissot’s cross came to nothing. Floro needed to open up the attack, and chose Russell Teibert and Cyle Larin for Tosaint Ricketts and Tissot.
And then goal! The first of the tournament for Canada! BMO Field erupts…. only for an offside flag to launch a chorus of boos. Haber was offside.
Hearts leapt and sank in Canada.
To the 81st minute, when a Teibert free kick was bungled by Alvarado only to be cleared off the line by Costa Rica. Teibert watched a looping pass from Julian De Guzman bounce away from him. Fate seemed to be mocking the Canucks as Karl Ouimette ripped a shot over the bar.