IN four home CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Costa Rica is a perfect 4W-0D-0L.
With their next two final-round games scheduled to be played at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose, if that form can be maintained, the second-place Ticos (2-1-1, 7) will travel a much smoother road to Russia.
They will host third-place Panama (1-2-1, 5) on June 8 and then last-place Trinidad & Tobago (1-0-3, 3) five days later.
“Six points is being talked about, but we have to win the first three,” midfielder Celso Borges said about the upcoming matches.
“Obviously, we put into play the best-case scenario, which is a win. But you have to be clear that this is football and I have not seen a team qualify with seven points and neither with 13. So once they tell us that we’re qualified, the team can think about a lot of things. Before then, no.”
After opening WCQ play unbeaten in eight straight matches, Costa Rica picked up only a point in its last two outings, rallying for a 1-1 draw at Honduras on March 28. For that reason, the 2014 World Cup quarterfinalist is taking nothing for granted.
“We want to do it well, replicating what we have been doing in the last matches that we played here,” said attacker Daniel Colindes. “We know that when the team goes in motivated, it looks good and we finish the chances at the right time.”
The statistics support Colindres’ assertion. In its home qualifiers, Costa Rica has scored 11 goals (10 in the last three) and conceded only one.
“It is not a secret to anyone that we have to win at home,” finished defender Johnny Acosta. “Above all, to win these six points because we would get a lot closer to what we want, which is to go to Russia. When we get the six points, plus with a combination of results, we would be a step away from getting it.”(Sportsmax.com)