Both Costa Rica and the United States national soccer teams earned enough points Tuesday night to qualify for berths for the 2014 World Cup.
For Costa Rica, this is like winning the Superbowl and the World Series all on the same night.
Costa Rica did not qualify the way it expected. The Tico team battled hapless Jamaica to a 1-1 tie in Kingston. Then the team and the rest of the country had to await the outcome of the Panamá-Honduras match. The teams tied. Honduras still is in third place in the regional competition after Costa Rica.
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football sends three teams to the World Cup. The team in fourth place has to battle it out with a team similarly placed from another region.
The U.S. team scored two goals and held México scoreless to win its game in Columbus, Ohio. The U.S. team also benefited from the Honduras-Panamá tie.
The teams in the Central American and Caribbean Association have two more games left. There is one Oct. 11 when Costa Rica plays Honduras and the United States plays Jamaica. Then Oct. 15, the United States plays Panamá and the Tico squad plays México.
México so far has won just a single game of the eight played. Jamaica has not won a game but has had four ties.
The qualifying was sweet for Costa Rica. In 2010 the team lost a World cup berth when it lost to the United States and then Honduras won its game.
What happens now is a major media blitz with product tie-ins, travel contests and all sorts of marketing in anticipation of the start of the World cup games in June.
Many Costa Rican fans will travel to Brazil, too.
Public employees were expecting President Laura Chinchilla to declare a holiday today because of the soccer team victory. The Consejo de Educación Vial announced Tuesday afternoon that those scheduled for a driving test today would have to sign up again if the president declared a holiday.
But it appears that she did not.