Donna Vekic suffers mid-air fright ahead of Guadalajara victory
After a strong start that saw the women’s national team start with a clean sheet, Donna Vekic will have to defend her first major title after seeing the Costa Rica squad go from zero to 15 during a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Mexico on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old Vekic suffered a nasty scare moments after she was substituted in the 34th minute when a Mexico defender came up with a long pass from central position, and from the next meter was able to send the ball straight over the head of her replacement in midfield, Vicky Moreira.
That set the tone for a frantic and nervy second half in which both teams tried to press for the win in their respective quest for the title that will see them face-off in the first round of the 2020 CONCACAF 2019 Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Feb. 23 at Saprissa Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Playing more than three years after her appearance in the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Poland, Vekic had to wait just four days before her first major tournament, and she’s hoping to pick up her first international crown.
Mexico went on the attack immediately after going behind in the 26th minute when former Brazilian star Yovany Guzman’s pass was turned over on the edge of the box by Moreira.
The veteran defender came up with a perfect pass from the opposite end of the field, but it was turned over by Moreira, and although Mexico couldn’t find a clear opening, it was still a positive sign of things to come for Vekic, who had put in another great performance to that point, scoring in the opening minutes of the match.
Costa Rica goalkeeper Karen Casimiro had a quiet first half, but her second-half performance didn’t go unnoticed. Cas