Costa Rica head coach Oscar Ramirez (left) greets his Uruguayan counterpart Washington Tabarez at their friendly on September 8, 2015, in San Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo: Imagenes en Costa Rica)
SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica – Oscar Ramirez secured his first win as Costa Rica head coach on Tuesday, masterminding a 1-0 victory over visiting Uruguay just three days after debuting against Brazil and coming within a disallowed goal of a draw.
The Ticos won for the first time since October 14, 2014, when they posted a 3-1 win over host Korea Republic. Ending the 11-game winless stretch was crucial, especially with a pair of World Cup qualifiers on the schedule for next month.
Clearly, Ramirez had a favorable view of the performance.
“It was like a qualifying match against a good opponent,” said the 50-year-old. “At a tactical level, on offense, we were able to make runs down the wings and improve in comparison with how things went against Brazil.
“We lacked some finishing as we could have scored at least another goal. The objective was to see players like [defender] Waylon Francis and that’s what happened. The ability of the team to adapt is good and that gives us calm for the future.”
Ramirez, who was only handed managerial reins on August 18, didn’t have a lot of time to train the squad. He made the most of each opportunity and was pleased with the outcome.
“The work put in by the team leaves me happy,” Ramirez expressed. “I felt comfortable with the guys. The first 30 minutes (against Uruguay) were important and it was difficult to maintain the rhythm. There are always things left to improve.”
Costa Rica will now focus on qualifying in CONCACAF for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where it will start in the fourth round. As part of four-team Group B, the Central America champion will face a trio of 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup participants: Haiti (quarterfinals), Jamaica (runner-up) and Panama (third place).