Costa Rica U17 women, Saprissa draw in friendly
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Action from the friendly between the Costa Rica under-17 women (white) and Saprissa on January 8, 2014, at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo courtesy of the Federación Costarricense de Fútbol)

 

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – The Costa Rica under-17 women and first-division champion Saprissa played to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday in a friendly at the Estadio Nacional.

The match was used by the young Ticas as preparation for when they host the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, March 15-April 4.

Despite the age differences of the opponents, the game was tightly contested.

Saprissa took a 25th minute lead thanks to an own-goal by Fabiola Villalobos.

The U17s, though, battled back and leveled in the second half through Sofia Varela.

After the match, U17 head coach Juan Diego Quesada spoke about the importance of playing at the Estadio Nacional, the same venue for his team’s first two World Cup matches

“I hope that this will be rewarded in the World Cup, this atmosphere that prevails in the Estadio Nacional, where they will defend the national colors in the next Women’s World Cup,” said Quesada. 

As it pertained to the match, Quesada seemed satisfied, but also pointed out that the team needs to develop further in some aspects.

“Technically, there is a need to improve ball control because it is lost very easily, and these matches against weightier opponents like Saprissa serve to see and to work on those aspects,” he added.

Costa Rica will open its World Cup campaign on March 15 against Venezuela, before concluding Group A play against Italy (March 18) and Zambia (March 22).