Costa Rica’s Raquel Rodriguez Cedeño (#11) tries to elude a tackle during a CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship match against Mexico on February 15, 2016, in Frisco, Texas, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – With an eye on next year’s CONCACAF Women’s Championship – and the three guaranteed berths it offers to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup – Costa Rica will host Mexico in an international friendly Saturday at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa.
Since the United States has played in all seven previous Women’s World Cups and Canada has earned a spot in the last six, it is possible that Costa Rica and Mexico could battle for the last automatic ticket to France.
That potential scenario – plus the fact that Costa Rica has won the last two meetings between them in CONCACAF competitions -- paint the encounter with additional intrigue.
"This level of warm-up will be as realistic as possible to what we will face next year,” said Costa Rica goalkeeper Noelia Bermudez. “I think that (competitive) factors with Mexico have already been equaled, in the last few matches we have managed to win and get a positive result, that's why it's going to be a high-level match.”
With those victories over Mexico in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship (1-0) and the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship (2-1), there’s belief in the Costa Rican camp that the sides are now on equal terms.
"I believe that the distances with Mexico have been reduced a lot. We are very similar in level,” midfielder and captain Katherine Alvarado finished. “Apart from the fact that it will be a beautiful match in order to rehearse, it will also going to be for growing
“Obviously, we want to win because we are at home. It is a demanding rival and one with which there is a rivalry as in men.”