Costa Rica defeated nine-man Bolivia 2-0 in a fractious Group A clash at the Copa America in Jujuy on Friday.It was a tale of two halves at the Estadio 23 de Agosto, the first a tepid encounter and the second featuring two goals, two send-offs, a penalty save and a few rough tackles.
Josue Martinez sparked the match into life in the 59th minute with Costa Rica’s opening goal, a reward given their sheer dominance after the restart.
The Deportivo Saprissa striker was quick to pounce after Bolivia goalkeeper Carlos Arias failed to hold on to substitute Allen Guevara’s blistering attempt.
Aria made amends in the 72nd minute, however, denying Guevara from the penalty spot and again on the rebound after Ronald Rivero was sent packing with his second caution.
The defender had earned the ire of the official for saving a certain goal by Heiner Mora with his arm.
If Bolivia were galvanised by their custodian’s efforts it did not last long, as minutes later midfielder Walter Flores saw a straight red for a crude tackle on lively Costa Rican attacker Joel Campbell.
Campbell proceeded to get his revenge in the 79th minute, slipping behind Bolivia’s defence to greet Luis Guzman’s free kick with a deft finish under Arias.
The win lifts Costa Rica to second in Group A with three points, one less than leaders Colombia.
Host nation Argentina drop to third ahead of their match with Costa Rica on Monday, and need to win if they are to prevent a humiliating group-stage exit from the tournament.