Action from the Central American Cup match between Costa Rica (red jersey) and Nicaragua on September 3, 2014, in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Mexsport)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In its bid to repeat as champion, Costa Rica got its 2014 Central American Cup (CCA) campaign off on the right foot Wednesday, earning a 3-0 win over Nicaragua at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium.
After his debut as head coach, Paulo Cesar Wanchope stated Nicaragua provided stiff competition, especially in the first 20 minutes.
"It was a tough game,” said Wanchope. “We had a slow start. We tried to improve our touch on the ball, looking to make a more dynamic game. We improved in the second half because the attacking players were more willing to seek space and that's where we began to develop the win.”
The 38-year-old agreed with the general consensus that the Ticos played better in the second half, but he was of the opinion that the team needs to improve before facing Panama on Sunday in Dallas.
“We needed to win (against Nicaragua),” expressed Wanchope, who scored one career CCA goal as a player. “I would have liked to have scored more goals, but our opponent has grown a lot. Now we need to improve all defensive and offensive aspects, especially as from our first-half performance, where we did not have precision to go on the attack. Hopefully, we’ll improve against Panama.”
Costa Rica has lost only once in nine all-time CCA meetings with Panama. In their last five encounters, however, both sides have posted a victory to go along with three draws.