Bryan Ruiz (pictured) runs during a recent training session ahead of Costa Rica's upcoming World Cup qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago. (Photo courtesy of Federación Costarricense de Fútbol)
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – For the first time in seven years, Costa Rica will pay a visit to Trinidad & Tobago, opening the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
The Ticos raced through the previous round unbeaten with a 5W-1D-0L record. They are hungry to keep that streak intact.
“We want to get a point,” said attacker Bryan Ruiz. “The previous Hexagonal, we managed to start against Panama with a draw and we continued on a good path until earning qualification. We’re going with the mindset of winning, but it if it’s not achieved we’re not going to go crazy.”
The Sporting Lisbon star believes that Costa Rica has done its homework and now it’s just a matter of executing on the pitch.
“We analyzed well what Trinidad can do,” Ruiz remarked. “Now the only thing left is that we have clear ideas and we execute what we want to do, which is something that we have worked on during the past few days. Little time remains to fine tune details, but the match plan is ready and managed with the ideas that the coach wants. We hope to start on the right foot.”
With Costa Rica having reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup, midfielder Randall Azofeifa understands that expectations will be high for the Hexagonal, but warns against looking too far ahead.
“We have a vision of the matches that are coming, but what matters is most is to get that first game and then immediately we will see how we will approach the next one,” finished the Herediano star. “We know that there is pressure for what happened in the last qualifying round and in the World Cup, but there is always going to be pressure and, as matches go on, it will go up. So we should be clear on our objective.”