MIAMI -- Julian De Guzman scored two second-half goals as
Canada defeated Costa Rica 2-1 in an opening match of the CONCACAF
Gold Cup on Wednesday.
De Guzman's second goal broke a 1-1 tie in the 73rd minute, helping Canada to three points in Group A, being played at the Orange Bowl.
A midfielder with Deportivo La Coruna of the Spanish League, De Guzman dribbled past Costa Rican defenders Victor Cordero and Jervis Dremmond and converted on a shot just outside the penalty area that landed in the upper left corner of the net.
Costa Rica's best opportunity at the equalizer came in the 83rd minute, when Rolando Fonseca's deflected shot outside the goal area missed the right post by a couple of feet.
De Guzman's first goal in the 58th minute, a low 20-yard shot that landed inside the left post, erased Costa Rica's brief 1-0
lead established a minute earlier.
Unable to develop much offense in the opening 45 minutes, Costa Rica broke through and struck first on Walter Centeno's goal 12 minutes into the second half. Centeno retrieved a loose ball on the left wing, dribbled toward the outer fringes of the penalty area and arched a shot high inside the right post past goalkeeper Pat Onstad.
A team with limited international play in 2007, Canada was the aggressor for most of the first half. Dominating the ball enabled Canada to generate repeated scoring opportunities and it nearly broke through in the 36th minute. Costa Rica goalkeeper Jose
Francisco Porras dived and deflected Robert Friend's shot just
outside the 6-yard box. Atiba Hutchinson's crossing pass from the
right wing found an open Friend, who one-timed a low shot toward
the left post before Porras' save.
In stoppage time, De Guzman had an uncontested shot from 22 yards, but it sailed wide off the left post.
Earlier, striker Paul Stalteri had Canada's first scoring
opportunity when his 20-yard shot hit the left post in the 28th