Christian Bolaños (#7) has scored in Costa Rica's last three World Cup qualifiers. (Photo: John Dorton/isiphotos.com)
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Costa Rica is confident that by the end of matchday four in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, it will be the same as when it entered the upcoming two-match stretch: perfect.
The Ticos top the Hexagonal table with maximum points from two matches, leading Mexico and Panama – the closest competitors -- by two points. With encounters against the Mexicans (March 24, away) and Honduras (March 28, away) next on the schedule, they have no intention of tumbling from the summit.
“Our mentality is always to go out to win. We believe that we can get the six points,” said attacker Christian Bolaños. “We have to think like that if we want to continue in the search for qualifying. We know the quality of the two opponents. It will not be easy, but we will be betting on doing our job well and playing smart matches.”
If one needed any evidence of Costa Rica’s prowess thus far in qualifying, look no further than the eight matches played in both the fourth round and the Hexagonal. The Central American side is unbeaten with a 7W-1D-0L record, owning an impressive +14 goal difference.
Marco Ureña, who has one goal during the current qualifying campaign, believes much of Costa Rica’s success is derived from the players’ familiarity with each other.
“We are a national team with a lot of time together, we know each other well,” the San Jose Earthquakes forward commented. “Mentally, we are very strong and each one knows the role that we fulfill in the team.
“For that reason exists the chance of doing well in these two games and being closer to locking down qualification.”