LOS ANGELES: England-based striker Jobi McAnuff scored a superb individual goal to give Jamaica a surprise 2-2 draw with highly-rated Costa Rica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Wednesday.
McAnuff, who plays for English lower league side Leyton Orient, made his way past a series of Costa Rican defenders to prod home a 48th-minute equaliser at Los Angeles’s StubHub Center.
The Group B result came as a disappointment to Costa Rica, the highest placed CONCACAF team in the FIFA world rankings at 14th.
In the late contest Wednesday, Canada and El Salvador played to a 0-0 draw as all four teams in the Group B earned a single point in their openers.
Los Ticos, one of the surprise packages at last year’s World Cup where they defeated Italy and Uruguay during a fairytale run to the quarter-finals, trailed early on after Jamaica took the lead through Garath McCleary on 13 minutes.
However the Central Americans soon took the lead through goals from Roy Miller and David Ramirez.
Ramirez gave Costa Rica a 2-1 lead in the 37th minute as he won a foot race and chipped the ball over the head of Jamaican goalkeeper Dwayne Miller into the net.
His goal came just four minutes after Roy Miller headed home from a set piece to cancel out McCleary’s opener.
Both teams had chances to get the go-ahead goal in the final minutes but couldn’t capitalize.
Jamaica failed to get a shot on goal after a four-on-two fast break in the 85th minute and Costa Rica goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado made a brilliant diving save off a blast by Simon Dawkins in the 88th.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2015.
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