Costa Rica claimed the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Blind Football Central American Championships title in Guatemala City, on 12 November, following a 3-2 victory on penalties against the hosts in the final. In addition to becoming the first Central American Champions, Costa Rica qualified for the 2018 World Championships, set to take place in Madrid, Spain, from 5-18 June.
It was 1-1 during normal time. Jorge Rodas was on the mark early in the game for Guatemala to put the hosts ahead, but Costa Rica pushed back and forced the locals on to the back foot in search of an equaliser.
Guatemala held on to its lead at half-time, but early in the second half Esteban Chávez found a way through the tough defence and scored for the away team.
Costa Rica ended the tournament undefeated as they achieved subsequent triumphs against Nicaragua 7-1, Honduras 5-0 and El Salvador 6-0; and drew versus Guatemala 1-1 both in the round robin and later on in the final.
This was the first ever Blind Football Central American Championships and were hosted by Guatemalan Committee for the Blind and Deaf.
In the game for third and fourth place, Honduras defeated El Salvador 2-0 thanks to two goals scored by Kelvin Castillo.
Final standings: 1. Costa Rica, 2. Guatemala, 3. Honduras, 4. El Salvador, 5. Nicaragua
Top scorer: Esteban Chávez (Costa Rica - 9 goals)
Player of the tournament: Esteban Chávez (Costa Rica)
Fair play trophy: El Salvador
Full story is available on IBSA’s website.