Action from the last meeting between Costa Rica and the USA (white jersey) in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals on July 22, 2017, in Arlington, Texas, USA. (Photo: AFP Services)
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Sometimes the greatest lessons in football come from defeats rather than wins.
Such is the case for Costa Rica (3W-2D-1L 11 points), currently second in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, as it prepares for Friday’s visit to the third-place United States (2W-2D-2L, 8 points).
Head coach Oscar Ramirez is using losses to the U.S. in the 2016 Copa America Centenario (0-4) and the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals (0-2) to show his players what must be addressed before the sides square off at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
“We have seen the video of the Gold Cup, we have seen the video of the Copa America, the match that we lost 4-0, and we have noted the errors that have been made,” defender Cristian Gamboa said Wednesday. “We will try not to commit them now in this important match that we have.”
With 58 senior team caps to his name, including a pair in WCQs against the Americans, Gamboa knows a thing or two about the battles waged by the teams when three points are on the line.
“I think it is going to be a true qualifying match,” concluded the 27-year-old. “It is going to be close, difficult. We are going to try to play our football, taking advantage of the spaces that we have and play a good match.”
This will be the 37th all-time meeting between the sides, each having earned 15 wins.