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(Reuters) - El Salvador salvaged a 1-1 draw with Costa Rica when substitute Dustin Corea scored a 91st-minute equalizer in their CONCACAF Gold Cup match in Houston on Saturday.
Costa Rica had one foot in the quarter-finals when they paid a steep price for sloppy defending from a free kick.
The ball was floated in from the left and Corea was given enough space to connect with a left-footed volley from six yards and send the large crowd into a frenzy.
The result leaves both teams with two points from two matches in Group B, while Jamaica have four points after beating Canada 1-0 in the early game, a result that leaves Canada with a solitary point.
Costa Rica meet Canada in the final group match, while Jamaica play El Salvador. The top-two qualify for the quarter-finals with the two best third-placed teams also advancing.
Costa Rica looked set to beat El Salvador when a touch of class by former Fulham midfielder Bryan Ruiz gave the Ticos the lead in the 61st minute.
Alvaro Saborio fed Ruiz with a nicely-weighted lob pass and the Costa Rica captain beat the keeper at the near post with a fiercely-struck low left-footed shot from a sharp angle.
But El Salvador, who played with plenty of enthusiasm but squandered some good chances, kept battling away and finally got their reward.
Earlier, Jamaica also left it late to score the only goal against Canada, as midfielder Rodolph Austin connected with a header in the 92nd minute.
The former Leeds United player rose from six yards out to meet a perfectly-weighted cross by Garath McCleary.
Canada have not scored in two matches and will need to improve in front of their home fans in Toronto on Tuesday against Costa Rica to have any chance of avoiding an early exit from the tournament.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Greg Stutchbury