Oscar Ramirez (left) played for Costa Rica in the 1990 World Cup and, as head coach, led the Central American country to a place in the 2018 edition. (Photo: AFP Services)
PANAMA CITY, Panama – A 2-1 loss Tuesday at Panama on the final matchday of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, couldn’t stop Costa Rica head coach Oscar Ramirez from reflecting positively on a campaign that earned the runner-up Ticos (4W-4D-2L, 16 points) a ticket to Russia.
“The national team knew how to manage critical moments,” said Ramirez. “We had very good moments. We know that there were spaces of two or three months between matches and that made things complex. The opponents were very strong, the coaches were very thorough.”
After advancing to the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup, Costa Rica is hoping that its fifth trip to the competition will yield similar success.
“One is ambitious and wants more. There are things to improve in the future,” Ramirez finished. “We have to give more in the tactical part, improve in our systems. In regards to the physical, the study of opponents, I think there is space to improve.”
Costa Rica went unbeaten in Brazil four years ago, posting an overall record of 2W-3D-0L.