18 January 2002 (www.TEAMtalk.com
Costa Rica dispatched Martinique 2-0 on Friday night in Miami in the opening game of the 2002 Gold Cup.
Veteran Hernan Medford scored a controversial goal in the first half before Rolando Fonseca added a classy strike just before the hour mark to finish off their pesky
Martinique did not make it easy for the Ticos in the first half as they had the majority of the chances in the first half-hour. Patrick Percin made a nice run down the right hand side but shot over the bar in the 25th minute.
Two minutes later, it was Percin again taking a pass from Rodolphe Rano and blasting to the right side of Costa Rica goalkeeper Alvaro Mesen who made a nice save to his left-hand side.
Costa Rica began to get control of the game after the 30-minute mark as the Martinique counterattacks began to fade. On 36 minutes, Gilberto Martinez looped a ball over the top of the defense to Harold Wallace, but Ludovic Mirande did well to boot the ball into touch.
With six minutes before half-time, Fonseca dashed through the Martinique defence and lashed a shot off the post. Medford was clearly ahead of the ball when the shot was taken, but the referee’s flag stayed down and the Saprissa forward tucked the rebound home easily for his 18th international goal. Television replays confirmed that Medford was at least five feet offside.
Martinique seemed to run out of gas in the second stanza, but they did have a good chance off a re-start after Oscar Rojas was cautioned for a clumsy tackle on Gibon. Pascal Lina sent a low-drive on the free kick around the wall into the arms of Mesen.
Moments later in the 57th minute, Mauricio Solis delivered a ball to Fonseca at the top of the box, and the Alajuelense forward spun two defenders and powered the ball past Heurlie for his 37th international goal.
Martinique frantically tried for a goal late in the game, but a number of good chances were spoiled by poor on their finishes.
In injury time, Medford worked a beautiful one-two with Solis, but his shot was parried away by Heurlie.
With the win, Costa Rica goes top in Group C and will face Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday in Miami while Martinique must now get a result against T&T in their next game on Tuesday if they can to advance to the second round.
Costa Rica: Mesen, Marin, Parks, Martinez (Centeno, 46), Wallace, Solis, Castro, Lopez, Rojas (Bryce, 65), Fonseca, Medford (Sunsing, 78)
Martinique: Heurlie, Clorus, DiCanot, Vaton, Mirande, Lavril (Lupon, 60), Gibon (Bullet, 63), Lina (Goron, 86), Repeurne, Rano, Percin