The Costa Rica team may have drawn a tough group—but don’t write them off so quickly. Los Ticos have proved their skills on the field, it’s just a question of how Group D favorites Uruguay and Italy (and England, too) plan to strike back.
Costa Rica joined the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) preliminaries in Round Three and won their spot in Brazil, coming in second only to the US. This was helped by an impeccable defense lineup—the team let in a marginal seven goals in its final round, the least of any team there—and a 5 win home game record in the final round.
So who should you watch out for? Goalie Keylor Navas played a part in Costa Rica’s impressive defense during the CONCACAF finals. As far as offense goes, Bryan Ruiz, Celso Borges and Joel Campbell are what the team needs to boost themselves from notorious defensemen to well-rounded victors.
Of course, Costa Rica is up against an impressive bracket. Uruguay is the current Copa America holder and Italy is a UEFA EURO 2012 runner-up. Even England is coming to Brazil with a clean defeat record, so there’s certainly a good sense of competition. But don’t let that dissuade you—Coach Jorge Luis Pinto has been working on the tactical strategies needed to match even the best Group D has to offer.
Coming out on top may not be the easiest thing in the world, but it certainly isn’t impossible. We’re looking forward to seeing Lotto-sponsored team Costa Rica take on Uruguay June 14.