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Jul 8, 2011

Costa Rica down nine-man Bolivia

Costa Rica have recorded a 2-0 win over a nine-man Bolivia outfit in their Group A Copa America match on Thursday.

Second-half goals from Josue Martinez and Joel Campbell sealed the three points for the invitees, who fielded a youthful side in the San Salvador de Jujuy clash. The margin could have been greater for the Costa Ricans but for Allen Guevera's missed penalty in the 71st-minute following Ronald Rivero's red-card for handball.

The Bolivians had recorded a solid 1-1 draw with the highly-fancied Argentina side in the opening game of the tournament, but let themselves down with poor discipline throughout the match.

The first-half was something of a lacklustre affair with few clear-cut chances between the two teams, but Costa Rica went ahead on 60 minutes when Guevera's powerful strike was parried into the path of Martinez for the easiest of tap-ins.

Bolivia's challenge was made all the more difficult when Rivero was ruled to have deliberately stopped a goalbound effort with his arm. Guevera's ensuing penalty was saved by goalkeeper Carlos Arias, but midfielder Walter Flores was then given his marching orders on 76 minutes for a foul on Campbell.

The Deportivo Saprissa striker made sure of the result with a second goal 12 minutes before full-time as he sliced through a tired Bolivian defence before slipping the ball calmly under the onrushing Arias.

Hosts and favourites Argentina now drop to third place in the Group A standings on two points, one point behind Costa Rica. Colombia leads with four points, while Bolivia's quest to progress will be difficult as they sit on just one point with one game remaining.

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