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Kylie Davies pounced in the 76th minute to score her first goal for Wales and to give Jayne Ludlow her first win as Women's National Team Manager.
The goal from Davies was also the first for Wales in this Croatian tournament following an opening 1-0 defeat against France B and a 1-1 draw against Bosnia and Herzegovina in their second game.
Costa Rica were dangerous opponents and looked quite useful on the counter-attack, however, Wales were also capable of causing a threat and during the first half Loren Dykes hit the crossbar.
Early in the second half, shots from Helen Bleazard and Laura May Walkley were both saved by the Costa Rica goalkeeper, as Wales began to apply some pressure on their opponents.
Wales finally got the breakthrough they were looking for when Davies hit the back of the net to give Wales a 1-0 victory.
Wales now have a 5/6th place play-off in the Istria Cup against host nation Croatia. The match will be played in Poreč on 11 March at 10:00 GMT.
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