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Costa Rica opens Hexagonal campaign with 2-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago

Los Ticos start the final stage of CONCACAF 2018 World Cup qualifying with three points on the road.

Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Costa Rica was never in tremendous trouble in this match, but for the first 45 minutes Los Ticos gave the impression that a point would do just fine.

Perhaps it was the news that Panama had taken three points in Honduras. Or maybe it was simply the fact that the Trinidad and Tobago defense lost its shape and made it almost impossible for Christian Bolanos not to score in the 65th minute. Certainly, Costa Rica looked more positive in the second half, after the first 45 played out without a goal for either side. Once Joel Campbell entered the game in the 57th minute, Los Ticos went from positive to positively irrepressible. Bolanos' goal was not inevitable, but it was not unexpected.

The Soca Warriors were not passive, but their chances were too few and far between. T&T was able to keep up with Costa Rica for much of the game, but never seemed likely to overwhelm one of the region's better teams.

The goal was a blow, but there remained the possibility the home team might grab an equalizer - until an injury-time breakaway allowed Ronald Matarrita to put the result beyond doubt. Los Ticos never looked at their best, nor did they ever look likely to lose this game. The 2-0 win was not undeserved and sends Costa Rica to its next match - at home against the USA on November 15 - with confidence.

T&T has to regroup and hope for better luck in a difficult match against Honduras in San Pedro Sula in its next game of the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.