Mexico defeated Costa Rica, 3-1, to win the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games, better known as Barranquilla 2018, thanks to a flurry of three goals scored in as many minutes early in the second half.
Sky Blue FC striker Katie Johnson scored Mexico’s third and final goal in the match to secure the come-from-behind win for El Tri, keeping them perfect in their run to their second tournament gold medal.
Mexico had to overcome an early one-goal deficit after Costa Rica was awarded a penalty kick in the 14th minute following a controversial play where Mexican goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago was ruled to have fouled the Costa Rican attacker.
Katherine Alvarado stepped to the spot and converted the penalty for the lone goal of the gold-medal match for Las Ticas, who were without Johnson’s Sky Blue teammate Raquel Rodriguez for the tournament.
Although Mexico was unable to work their way onto the scoresheet in the first half and had to undergo a goalkeeper change at halftime—Dash goalkeeper Bianca Henninger entered for Santiago, who appeared to have injured either her shoulder or hand during the first half—they were able to get on the board in the second, scoring three unanswered goals in three minutes around the hour mark.
The first of those was scored in the 59th minute when Maria Sanchez connected with Charlyn Corral, who chipped the Costa Rican keeper with a one-touch shot for Mexico’s opening goal.
Costa Rica barely had time to recover before Kenti Robles Salas scored with a header on a set piece in the 60th minute to give Mexico the lead.
Corral then added an assist to her goal in the 62nd minute, playing the ball across to Johnson, who took a couple of touches before placing a low shot just past the keeper’s leg to secure the Barranquilla 2018 gold medal win for Mexico. The goal was Johnson’s third of the tournament.
Johnson will now return to Sky Blue FC, where she will travel with the team to Orlando to take on the Pride on Sunday, August 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET. That game will be streamed live on NWSLsoccer.com and the NWSL app.
(Also, major shout out to Sandra Herrera of SB Nation’s Chicago Red Stars blog, Hot Time in Old Town, for the gifs.)