Soccer  > General Soccer  > Costa Rica gets by Guatemala 1-0 to open WWCQ
October 28, 2010, 08:28 PM
CANCUN, Mexico - Adriana Venegas scored in the 51st minute to lead Costa Rica to a 1-0 victory over Central American rival Guatemala on Thursday in the opening game of the CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifying.

It was a frustrating start for Las Ticas, a team expecting to contend for one of two guaranteed berths at next year's World Cup and playing against a side making its first appearance in the confederation's women's championship since 2000.

Both sides used relatively young lineups, including 16-year-old Maria Monterroso in the Guatemalan midfield and Costa Rican forward Raquel Rodriguez Cedeno, who turned 17 on Thursday.

Costa Rica had the majority of play and finally converted when captain Shirley Cruz worked her way to the top of the Guatemalan penalty area and , paused briefly before sending a short low ball to Venegas.

The 21-year-old forward settled and turned to roll a ball from eight meters under Guatemalan keeper Ana Lucia Spross.

The game began as an ill-tempered affair, with Guatemala committing the first foul within 30 seconds of the opening kickoff, Mexican referee Quetazalli Alvarado issuing four yellow cards in the first 38 minutes and Guatemala's Marilyn Rivera forced off the field to close a cut under her right eye that left her jersey covered in blood.

Costa Rica had the major of play and chances in the first half, including their best moment when Adriana Venegas hit a shot from the top of the penalty area that Spross had to tip on to the cross bar.

Guatemala didn't attempt a shot until Rocio Sosa was able to put one into Costa Rican goalkeeper Dinnia Diaz's hands in the 14th minute.

Las Chapinas enjoyed a period of intermittent possession until Costa Rica regained the initiative for the final 15 minutes.

Shirley Cruz worked to the byline before squaring a cross to the top of the six-yard box, where an unmarked Vanegas volleyed it well over the bar in the 33rd.Crtisin Granados also had her low right-footed effort pushed around the right post in the first minute of injury time by Spross.

Guatemala spent most of the match in its own half, but benefitting from Spross timely punches and Costa Rica's inability to finish repeated chances.

Cruz, whose shot from just inside the 18 had to be tipped around the right post in the ninth minute, also blasted a shot from the six off Guatemala's Katherine Ramos that bounced agonizingly wide in the 77th.

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