Joel Campbell’s assist after just 45 seconds helped Costa Rica to an important three points during their World Cup qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago.
His well-struck delivery from the Ticos’ first corner-kick of the game was headed home by Francisco Calvo with aplomb, leaving their opponents stunned after some weak marking inside the area.
Kenwyne Jones, who spent nine seasons in the Premier League, helped create the visitors’ equaliser as Kevin Molino levelled the scoring after 35 minutes. Firing goalwards with a low drive, the effort deceived Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas in goal and he couldn’t parry it away to safety.
Costa Rica’s slender lead was restored though before the interval. Bryan Ruiz’s deft dummy sent his marker the wrong way before he opened up space to strike on the edge of the area, making no mistake.
Campbell could’ve netted a goal for himself after creating space as a passing option on the counter-attack in the second-half. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to connect cleanly with power on the eventual strike and goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams was able to smother the ball and keep his side in the game.
Campbell completed the full 90 minutes for what seems like the first time in a long while and that’s sure to give him a morale boost with next month’s Gold Cup on the horizons.
The match finished 2-1 and keeps Costa Rica second in their group, three points behind Mexico while also being ahead of the USA in third.
As for Trinidad and Tobago, they’ve now conceded ten in six qualifying group matches and with Sol Campbell as their assistant manager, they definitely have plenty of work to do if they want to advance into the inter-confederation play-offs.
Three points from a possible 18, it’s increasingly unlikely that they’d manage to sneak through as automatic qualifiers and will now have to battle Panama and Honduras for a play-off spot.