It took Costa Rica all of 95 minutes to accomplish the feat, but in the end, Kendall Waston’s stoppage time equalizer secured the nation’s qualification to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. It was another surreal moment in Los Ticos’ qualifying campaign, one that’s seen them defeat the United States twice and finish second behind only Mexico in CONCACAF’s Hexagonal round.
A packed house at the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica was witness to the 2014 quarterfinalists securing their place at a fifth World Cup, and this experienced group of players is certainly going to make life hell for whoever’s grouped alongside them at the finals.
Just look at what it means to the players and the 30,000+ in attendance in San Jose.
¡GRACIAS KENDALL! GOLAZO
— Teletica Deportes (@TeleticaTD7) October 8, 2017
On the other side of things, giving up a 95th minute equalizer and losing two almost-certain points was disastrous for Honduras. A win would’ve seen them leapfrog Panama and into fourth, the inter-confederation playoff position. However, the two sides are now equal on points, but Honduras has a vastly inferior goal difference (the first tiebreaker).
Juxtaposed to the video of Costa Rican celebrations within the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, here’s a group of Honduras supporters watching the game on television.
Honduras will now host Mexico on Tuesday while Panama host Costa Rica. There’s also the possibility that Trinidad and Tobago could do both countries a favor and upset the United States at Ato Boldon Stadium.
The only thing we know for certain following Saturday’s match is that Keylor Navas, Bryan Ruiz and co. will be in Russia.