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Costa Rica cleans up 2014 Concacaf awards

Xinhua, December 24, 2014 Adjust font size:

Costa Rica was the big winner Tuesday of the annual football awards handed out by the regional Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf).

Costa Rica was nominated in each of the six categories, and won three, including top prize Player of the Year, Goal of the Year and Coach of the Year (by way of the national team's Colombian coach).

National team goalie Keylor Navas was named Player of the Year for being "the standout goalkeeper at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and followed that outstanding performance with a high profile transfer to La Liga heavyweight Real Madrid," the Concacaf said.

Runner-up in that category was fellow Costa Rican Bryan Ruiz, followed by U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard in third place.

Ruiz, however, won Goal of the Year for his 44th minute score against Italy, "which set Costa Rica on the road to another scalping of one of world football's giants, and proved a pivotal moment in the ... enthralling World Cup quarterfinal," said Concacaf.

All of the nominees in that category were Costa Rican, with second place going to Club Sport Herediano player Esteban Ramirez, for his 20th minute long-distance goal against rival Deportivo Saprissa, as part of a Costa Rican league match, and third place going to Joel Campbell for his minute 54 score against Uruguay at the World Cup.

Costa Rica's Colombian-born coach, Jorge Luis Pinto, won the Coach of the Year award for the team's "exceptional quarterfinal run at the World Cup." Endi

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