Costa Rica again. On the final group matchday in Qatar. It’s time for the coach to further improve the opponents of the German team. But first he only wants one thing for 24 hours: enjoy.
Intoxicated by the renewed participation in the World Cup and the unbridled cheers on the streets and squares in their far-away home country, the Costa Rican players did not yet think about meeting up with Germany at a World Cup, which will take place on December 1st.
Also trainers Luis Fernando Suarez didn’t really want to do anything other than enjoy these moments for 24 hours. But then the eyebrows twitched briefly, a mischievous smile spread over the face of the 62-year-old native of Colombia, who had been with Ecuador at the summer fairy tale in Germany in 2006 – and lost with his team in the preliminary round 0: 3 against Germany – and 2014 Honduras led to the World Cup in Brazil. “I hope that we will be a different Costa Rica, a stronger Costa Rica“, said Suarez.
So yes. Beyond the hours of jubilation and joy, he looked beyond the last group game of the World Cup in Qatar against the DFB selection without any analysis. “You won’t see this team, you will see another team”he already promised.
One who wants to go far again. Like in 2014, when Costa Rica only lost to the Netherlands on penalties in the quarter-finals. So watch out for the German team, even if they celebrated a 5-2 goal party in the classic against Italy on Tuesday evening. Keylor Navas, Costa Rica’s star keeper, won’t need them much, but he might be able to learn from his Italian colleague from Paris Saint Germain, Gianluigi Donnarummapick up a few more warnings.
An “Explosion of Joy and Pride”
Navas has played in Costa Rica’s squad since 2008. He became a World Cup hero in 2014. Navas will be 36 years old in December. It will probably be the last World Cup for the keeper, who is richly decorated with club titles. “I’ve had very nice moments, but qualifying for a World Cup is always a wonderful thing.” One “Explosion of Joy and Pride” triggered the national team, wrote the Costa Rican newspaper “The nation” in their online edition.
That the euphoric people not only at the Fuente de la Hispanidad fountain in Saint Joseph “Oé, oé, oé, ticooooooooos” yelled and threw their beers in the air, they also had Nava’s late-stage glory to thank for. Despite being outnumbered, New Zealand had literally squeezed their opponents in their own half in the last twenty minutes.
“Suffered, suffered, but good: We’re at the World Cup”said Paulo Wanchope. The now 45-year-old scored the two goals in the 2-4 win against Germany in the opening game in 2006 and now saw a team that does not necessarily cause the greatest fear, but documented in 90 sometimes heated and poisonous minutes plus injury time that they are not a pleasant opponent .
Criticism of FIFA of New Zealand
And again one goal was enough. Also thanks to the video referee, who corrected the referee twice on the pitch. A New Zealand goal was disallowed a few minutes before half-time to try to equalize, and the second time a New Zealander was sent off. There was clear criticism for this and especially for the world association from the coach of the All Whites. “FIFA made a mistake,” he said. Referee Mohammed Abdulla from the United Arab Emirates clearly did not have the level that would have been necessary for such a game in the 0-1 draw on Tuesday at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Ar-Rayyan.
Their coach made it clear that the Costa Ricans had to improve their level before the World Cup. The mixture with veterans like Navas or the already 36-year-old Bryan Ruiz at his career farewell World Cup in Qatar as well as talents like teenage goal preparers Jewison Bennette a few hours before his 18th birthday on Wednesday (06/15/2022), but should be a basis on which to build. Even if the other opponents are Japan and especially Spain in the preliminary round group E.
Since taking office almost a year ago Suarez brought the team out of a slump and most recently led Costa Rica into the intercontinental playoff against Oceania representatives New Zealand with six – albeit mostly narrow – victories in seven games. “Last will be first. Congratulations guys!”, it was also said via Twitter from Costa Rica’s Presidential Office after the World Cup entry. The coach himself emphasized that it was the best group he had ever had. And it should get even better.