Costa Rica and Canada will meet this Sunday for the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup, the most important tournament at the level of Concacaf national teams, in a tight duel for the semifinals.
The match will take place at 11:00 p.m. GMT, at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, in the United States.
The winner of this meeting will be measured in the semifinal to the representation that comes out standing from the confrontation between Mexico and Honduras, which will be played this Saturday.
Los Ticos come to this stage as one of the two teams that scored ideally in the first phase, after winning their three group C games, against Guadeloupe, Suriname and Jamaica. The other is the United States.
This was the first time in history that Costa Rica achieved that performance in the opening round of the tournament.
And he does it precisely after a crisis of results that lasted for 20 months, in which the Ticos did not win for 11 games.
However, with the arrival of Colombian coach Luis Fernando Suárez less than a month ago, the Costa Ricans seem to have corrected their course and now even dream of winning the competition, something they have never done either. His greatest achievement in the tournament is being a finalist in the 2001 edition.
At the fore will be Canada, who won their first two games of the championship, against Martinique and Haiti, scoring four goals each, drawing the attention of the defenses of the candidate countries.
But he fell to the United States with a touchdown before 20 seconds of play, from which he could not recover. This defeat sent him to second place in group B, destining him to face off against Costa Rica.
The Americans also have a disadvantage on their roster and that is the loss of their two starting forwards due to injury, Cyle Larin and Ayo Akinola. Larin, a footballer for Turkey’s Besiktas, is one of the top scorers in the Gold Cup, with three goals.
Unlike its rival on duty, Canada does have a scepter in its windows, achieved in 2000.
– Costa Rica bets on its «energy» –
The Ticos acknowledge the challenge of the crash, but are optimistic.
“It is a key game, but difficult. They are a rival that is doing things well, but I think that with our energy and the way we have been working we can get him out. We have shown that we can and we have to continue with that conviction, “said one of the Tico team captains, Celso Borges, who will become the man with the most Class A matches this Sunday with the ‘Sele’ jersey, with 135.
“We understand everything that we are at stake. It is something very big and if we win it is one more step towards our goal, which is the title, ”said Costa Rican Esteban Alvarado, who will be the starting goalkeeper after Leonel Moreira was sent off in the previous game against Surinam and Patrick Sequeira was injured. precisely in the warm-up of that match.
Currently Costa Rica occupies 50th place in the FIFA ranking, being fourth in Concacaf, while Canada is 70th in the global ranking and seventh in the area.
In statistics, Ticos and Canadians have met 19 times since 1975. The former won six times, while the latter three. There were ten ties between the two.
However, in the last nine meetings, Canada was only able to win once, specifically in the 2007 Gold Cup (1-0), the last time they reached the semi-finals.
Costa Rica: Esteban Alvarado – Keysher Fuller, Óscar Duarte, Giancarlo González, Ronald Matarrita – David Guzmán, Celso Borges, Bryan Ruiz, Ariel Lassiter, Alonso Martínez – Joel Campbell. DT: Luis Fernando Suárez
Canada: Maxime Crépeau – Steven Vitoria, Richie Laryea, Kamal Miller, Alistair Johnston – Stephane Eustáquio, Samuel Piette, Junior Hoilett, Jonathan Osorio – Tajon Buchanan, Lucas Cavallini. DT: John Herdman. (AFP)