Everything was on the line for both sides entering their final group stage match, but it was Costa Rica that emerged victorious on Friday night after wasting no time in the attacking third.
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Los Ticos defeated French Guiana, 3-0, at Toyota Stadium behind goals from Ariel Rodriguez Araya, Rodney Wallace and David Ramirez.
The latter tallied for the Central American nation in the 83rd minute after Costa Rica began to apply more and more pressure down the stretch.
Wallace, who represents MLS side NYCFC, tacked on a second goal for the Ticos with 11 minutes remaining, after Araya had given Costa Rica the advantage after just four minutes.
With Honduras hot on the heels of both Costa Rica and Group A leader Canada, the Ticos didn’t waste any time in putting away French Guiana — who was still reeling after forfeiting its last match due to fielding an ineligible player (Florent Malouda).
The Caribbean nation went into halftime down 1-0, but things went from bad to worse for Les Yana Dòkòs when Ludovic Baal was shown a straight red card just beyond the hour mark for a rash tackle on David Guzman.
Costa Rica will reach the final eight courtesy of Friday night’s win, and Oscar Ramirez will wait to see which other team or teams advance out of Group A.Follow @MattReedFutbol