Thursday, July 20, 2017

Costa Rica 1 Canada 1: Davies scores again in Gold Cup draw

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 12 Jul 2017

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Teenage sensation Alphonso Davies scored again as Canada and Costa Rica played out a 1-1 draw at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Davies netted a double in Canada’s 4-2 win over French Guyana and the 16-year-old star was at it again in Tuesday’s Group A clash.

The Vancouver Whitecaps prodigy broke the deadlock approaching the half-hour mark in Houston – taking his tally to three goals in two matches.

Costa Rica, though, responded via Francisco Calvo in the 42nd minute and the two teams could not be separated at BBVA Compass Stadium, leaving them level on four points.

Costa Rica made one change to the team who beat Honduras 1-0 in their Gold Cup opener, with Arsenal’s Joel Campbell coming into the starting XI for Johan Venegas.

Canada trio Marcel de Jong, Patrice Bernier and Lucas Cavallini made way for Sam Adekugbe, Mark Kaye and Anthony Jackson-Hamel following last week’s win.

The Costa Ricans – unbeaten in four games against Canada amid three draws – started brightly and looked more threatening in attack. Minnesota United’s Calvo forced Milan Borjan into an early save as Costa Rica controlled proceedings.

But Canada broke the deadlock against the run of play in the 26th minute – Davies continuing his Cinderella story at the Gold Cup.

Scott Arfield whipped in a low delivery across the six-yard box and Davies nipped in front of his opponent to fire home the opener.

That sparked Costa Rica – who were forced into an early substitution as Campbell was replaced by David Ramirez – into action.

Ramirez was lively following his introduction and the Deportivo Saprissa forward’s saved shot resulted in Costa Rica’s equaliser approaching half-time.

After Borjan pushed away Ramirez’s effort for a corner, Calvo rose highest to head powerfully into the roof of the net, and David Guzman almost put Costa Rica ahead on the stroke of half-time but Canada’s number one was up to the task.

The second half was more open, though both teams lacked the decisive touch and quality up front to take the lead.

Davies was at the heart of Canada’s attacks but he hobbled off the field due to injury with 22 minutes remaining.

And the withdrawal of Davies took the sting out of Canada’s attacking play as Costa Rica slowly wrestled back momentum in possession.

Costa Rica came close to hitting the front inside the final nine minutes after Marco Urena sprung the offside trap and unleashed a shot just wide of the bottom corner of the net from a tight angle.

Costa Rica continued to push forward but some desperate and last-ditch defending ensured the points were shared.

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