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Costa Rica eliminated from Copa America despite beating Paraguay in group stage finale


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Costa Rica was eliminated from the Copa America despite beating Paraguay 2-1 on Tuesday night as Francisco Calvo and 19-year-old Josimar Alcócer scored in the opening seven minutes.

Costa Rica finished third in Group D with four points when Colombia and Brazil played a 1-1 draw. The Brazilians took second place with five points.

Paraguay had been eliminated when it lost its first two matches.

The Ticos were eliminated in the group stage for the fourth time after 1997, 2011 and 2016. They reached the quarterfinals in 2001 and 2004.

Calvo was left wide open in front of the net to head home Joseph Mora's bending cross in the third minute. Four minutes later, Alcócer dribbled from near midfield and slotted a shot from distance past a diving Rodrigo Morínigo.

Those were Costa Rica’s only two shots on goal.

Paraguay held possession for a majority of the second half and Ramón Sosa scored his first international goal in the 55th.

Costa Rica goalkeeper Patrick Sequeira preserved the victory by making a fingertip save of Ángel Romero's close-range shot in second-half stoppage time.

Costa Rica has not finished the group stage without a victory since 1997, its first appearance as a guest at South America's championship.


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