• Thursday Apr 12, 2012

    Honduras, Costa Rica renew rivalry

    SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- When Costa Rica and visiting Honduras square off Wednesday night in a friendly at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose, more than Central American bragging rights will be at stake. Players from both sides will be battling for World Cup Qualifying roster spots and that dynamic should add to the game's competitive value.

    Costa Rica head coach Jorge Luis Pinto named his starting 11 on Tuesday, demonstrating confidence in his selections.

    "In this game, we want players to show what they have to show, because many of these players will be in the group of players who will face the heat," Pinto said, making a reference to June's World Cup qualifiers."I feel that we have moved forward with this group of players that we had for the games with Venezuela and Jamaica, the boys have grown and that's important."

    The Costa Rica starters will be: Patrick Pemberton; Jose Salvatierra, Bismar Acosta, Geancarlo Gonzalez, Porfirio Lopez, Jose Miguel Cubero, Yeltsin Tejeda, Oscar Rojas, Pablo Antonio Gabas, Juan Diego Monge and Olman Vargas.

    Honduras will be without Julio de Leon of Motagua and Marathon's Mauricio Sabillon, who will both miss out due to injuries.

    The Catrachos, though, welcome veteran David Suazo into the squad.The Catania forward, who has 16 career international goals, fully realizes the encounter's critical nature.

    "It is an important game, especially because of the rivalry between Honduras and Costa Rica," commented Suazo."We know we are going to face a great team on their field and we are focused on playing our best game."

    Honduras is unbeaten in its last four meetings against Costa Rica with 2 wins and 2 draws.

    In their last meeting, the three-time Central American champion got past the Ticos 4-2 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw in a 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal in East Rutherford, New Jersey.


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