At minute 90+4, a headbutt by Kendall Waston from a center shot by Bryan Ruiz tied the game and earned the Costa Rica national team the needed point for a trip to Russia in 2018.
Waston, who appeared like a giant, a head taller than the other players grouped in front of the goal, with one minute to go to official end the game, when the fans, at the stadium, at home, wherever, perhaps even the players themselves, had lost the hope of celebrating the World Cup 2018 qualifications, Kendall jumped up, smacked the ball with is forehead, a bullet into the Honduras net.
Bryan Ruiz, captain for the second in row World Cup qualification set up the goal with his familiar magic. Up to that point, the fans and the players were resigned to have to wait to Tuesday, in the game against Panama, to officially qualify.
Although the “Ticos” mathematically had earned their spot in Russia in 2018, the 1-1 tie against the “catrachos”, led by the “Ticos” former World Cup 2014 coach, was needed to concrete to reach the 16 point in the hexagonal a position to place in the top three teams to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
The contest is now for the third spot. That spot today is held by the USA.
¡Así se grita una clasificación al mundial! 🙌🏼🇨🇷 pic.twitter.com/kosGZ9gDLY
— TDMás (@tdmas_cr) October 8, 2017
The Waston goal means the United States likely needs at most a draw at Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday (Oct. 10) night to qualify for its eighth straight World Cup show.
Panama is pitted against Costa Rica, in a game that does not change anything of Costa Rica’s, but certainly, a win for the “Canaleros” could send Panama to their first World Cup.
Costa Rica second consecutive trip to the World Cup
A few second after the referee call the game at an end, the fireworks lit up the sky above the National Stadium in La Sabana.
Fans stayed around to watch their “seleccion” (select team) walk the entire track of the stadium to get close to the fans, then joined by the families, speaking to the sports reporters and radio and television hosts, before retiring from the stadium.
Many saw the celebration as a respite from the hard last few days from Tropical Storm Nate.