SAN SALVADOR DE JUJUY, Argentina // Costa Rica's 2-0 victory over Bolivia, which left the Ticos looking at a potential quarter-finals place, was tinged with sadness as they dedicated the triumph to defender Dennis Marshall, who was killed in a car crash last month.
Marshall, who played for the Danish side Aalborg, had just returned to Costa Rica following the Concacaf Gold Cup tournament in the United States when he was killed in the head-on crash with a truck.
"He showed courage and dedication on the field and so we are dedicating this win to him. He will be happy with this victory," said Joel Campbell, who scored a goal for the Central Americans.
The Costa Ricans had lost their opening game to Colombia but now can go into their final match at Cordoba against Argentina - the wobbling hosts who trail them by a point after two draws - with confidence under their Argentine coach, Ricardo La Volpe.
La Volpe said Argentine fans would rejoice at his side's victory on Thursday."Our win favours Argentina," La Volpe said, in that it means Bolivia are likely to come bottom of the group if they do not beat Colombia.
A Bolivian triumph would have put Colombia and Bolivia on four points and made life harder for the Argentinians.
"Mathematically, this is a good result for Argentina. It wouldn't have been the same with a Bolivian win," he added.
He conceded that Argentina will be highly motivated to defeat his side, largely an Under 23 squad. "They will surely have to beat us," La Volpe said.