Costa Rica – World Cup 2014 – Betting
Manager: Jorge Luis Pinto
Captain: Bryan Ruiz
FIFA World Ranking: 35
World Cup Appearances: 4
Best World Cup: Round of 16, 1990
Costa Rica Team Profile
England fans will be interested in seeing how the Costa Rica team shape up, as they were drawn in Group D alongside the Three Lions, Uruguay and Italy. Costa Rica came through qualification from the CONCACAF zone in second place behind the USA. It wasn’t a totally convincing qualification process from them, but it is one of the weaker qualification zones from across the World, so even average sides can be made to look good. So it is a little hard to judge the value of Costa Rica, who have been dropping in the FIFA World Rankings.
Really there are going as the heavy outsiders in their group for the World Cup, and one of the rank outsiders to win the tournament. It is not as if they have been in great form. They lost three matches on the bounce between November 2013 and January 2014. They failed to score in those three games against Australia, Chile and South Korea too, so they don’t look as if they have a lot to offer. Between Septemebr 10th, 2013 and Januay 25th, they won one and lost four of six international matches. While there is a bit of a transition period for them, looking to move forward to more positives things, any hopes of getting better than when they fell at the first hurdle at the 2002 World Cup, the last time they were in the finals, doesn’t look to be much of a reality.
Colombian Jorge Luis Pinto is the man in charge and he has done a pretty good job with them. They actually secured their spot at Brazil 2014 with a couple of games to spare in the CONMEBOL zone. He was a lot of experience behind him at the national level, even though some it wasn’t particularly well received. He came under heavy fire when in charge of Colombia during World Cup qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, but he did go a long way to redeeming himself with a purple patch of form. He still failed to get hem to South Africa 2010. He took over in Costa Rica in 2011, where he has been looking to make a positive impression. It has been a bit of a slow process though and success has to be treated as being relative because the CONMEBOL Zone is pretty weak.
Costa Rica Key Players
Byran Ruiz is pretty much the stand out name in the Costa Rica squad. Los Ticos will rely on the PSV striker for their goals, and in playing a support role to the more experience Alvaro Saborio. Ruiz is a much lauded player, arguably one of the best playmakers to come from the CONMEBOL zone. So he will have to produce some of his big, influential performances to get Costa Rica going in the right direction at the 2014 World Cup. How he links up with Saborio could be the key to the success of Los Ticos.
They have a fantastic talent between the sticks as well in the form of goalkeeper Keilor Navas who plays in Spain with Levante. He was part of the reason why Costa Rica only conceded seven goals during their qualification process. Would look for him to shine, because their back line will come under a lot more pressure in Group D at Brazil 2014 than it ever did during the long road to get there.
The defensive areas were the key factors in Costa Rica qualifying so easily for the 2014 World Cup. They didn’t look as if they were ever going to give too much away. But their big strengths really all came on home turf and since qualifying, some questions really got raised about the quality of the defence outside of their own zone, suffering some international friendly defeats. In such a tough opening group, if they can’t get their defence organised then they are going to struggle to pick up even a point.
Their overall standard across the field, really may get exposed at the World Cup. It’s a totally different life in the CONMEBOL zone to playing competitive matches against quality opposition like Uruguay, England and Italy. So there is just an overall weakness in their side, a lack of talent and that comes from not having that many players holding down spots in the top European leagues. Just a lack of quality will hamper them.
Costa Rica Qualification for the World Cup
Sector: North and Central America
Goals Scored: 13
Goals Conceded: 7
Costa Rica World Cup Betting Odds
Costa Rica to win the World Cup 2500/1 at Paddy Power
Costa Rica World Cup 2014 Fixtures – Group D
|Sa 14th June||20.00||Uruguay v Costa Rica||1:3|
|Sa. 14th June||23.00||England v Italy||1:2|
|Th 19th June||20.00||England v Uruguay||1:2|
|Fr 20th June||17.00||Italy v Costa Rica||0:1|
|Tu 24th June||17.00||Italy v Uruguay||0:1|
|Tu 24th June||17.00||Costa Rica v England||0:0|
World Cup 2014 Group D Table