TEGUCIGALPA - Costa Rica booked their place at this year's CONCACAF Gold Cup by brushing aside nine-man Guatemala in a qualifying match after both sides had missed a penalty.
Costa Rica striker Andy Furtado fired over the crossbar from the spot in the 25th minute of Sunday's game after Carlos Gallardo, sent off for a second bookable offence in the process, had fouled Pablo Herrera.
Three minutes later, Guatemala were awarded a penalty but Marco Pappa's effort was saved by Ricardo Gonzalez.
Alvaro Sanchez put Costa Rica ahead with an individual goal in the 33rd minute but Minor Lopez headed Guatemala level following a free kick in the 56th minute.
Costa Rica replied immediately with Herrera and Roberto Segura scoring twice in two minutes to put them in command. Guatemala then had Carlos Castillo sent off in the 67th minute for a bad tackle.
Costa Rica lead Central American Group B with six points from two games. Honduras have already qualified from Group A and three more places are still up for grabs.
The Gold Cup will be held in the United States in July. The hosts, Mexico and Canada qualify automatically while Jamaica, Grenada, Guadeloupe and Cuba have gone through from the Caribbean zone.comments