• Wednesday Nov 15, 2017

    After European tour, Costa Rica looks to build for World Cup

    Giancarlo Gonzalez (pictured) played the entire match in Costa Rica’s loss to host Hungary in an international friendly on November 14, 2017. (Photo: Mexsport)

    BUDAPEST, Hungary – Despite a 1-0 loss to host Hungary in an international friendly Tuesday in an international friendly in Budapest, Costa Rica head coach Oscar Ramirez – especially on the heels of 5-0 loss at Spain four days earlier.

    Chicago Fire Nemanja Nikolic scored the only goal in the 35th minute, redirecting a free kick by teammate Roland Ugrai.

    “I think it was a very dynamic encounter,” said the 52-year-old in his post-match press conference. “We tried to play combinations. I think we had moments to find a goal, but they scored on us from a set piece unfortunately.

    “After that, we had a percentage of time with possession, while trying to get forward, trying to make Hungary fall back, but sadly we couldn’t get the draw. But I’m happy with the dynamic and effort of the boys.”

    For Ramirez, the brief tour was more about observing characteristics and evaluating performances than results, especially with next year’s World Cup looming large.

    “I think there are always improvements,” Ramirez finished. “There are times, perhaps, when players are not at their best. But we came to Europe. We measured ourselves. We saw intensity, situations in which we can improve.

    “In these three or four days, an emphasis was placed on tactical topics and what we are going to do against the opponent. It does not give a chance to work on fixed concepts.”

    Costa Rica completed its 2017 schedule with an overall record of 6W-8D-6L

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