Costa Rica’s Suarez feels the heat in Fort Lauderdale after Panama loss

February 27 – Costa Rica coach Luis Suarez will need to pick up the pieces with growing calls for his resignation following a dismal 2-1 defeat in their Gold Cup opener against Panama.

Out played and outclassed for much of the 90 minutes, the Costa Ricans were lethargic and a shadow of their former selves, a respected powerhouse in the region and a regular at World Cup finals, including the 2022 edition when they lost heavily against Germany and Spain to exit in the first round.

The partisan crowd in Florida reacted to the insipid performance with chants of ‘Fuera Suarez! Fuera Suarez!’.

Those sentiments were echoed by the media in a tense press conference, where Suarez (pictured) looked shaken and on the defensive, peppered by demands to stand down. Members of the press asked him no less than five times whethet he would resign.

Suarez responded: “I still think you must fight until the end, and I have done that my entire life. There are tough moments, but the answer is to find solutions, not to hide and run away.”

The Costa Rica manager had already been under pressure going into the tournament and the lack of response from his side, who at no point seemed in control or comfortable against their neighbours, prompted more criticism following a disappointing World Cup campaign and failure to reach the Nations League finals because of two defeats to Panama, suggesting their local rivals have overtaken them. In preparation for the Gold Cup, the Ticos lost friendlies to both Ecuador and Guatemala.

He insisted Costa Rica needed “to move forward” with a lot of work in both technical and mental areas, but how Suarez can escape the pressure and Costa Rica recover from their opening defeat remains to be seen.

On Friday, the Ticos play El Salvador in New Jersey in a crunch game that might go a long way in determining Suarez’s future.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1713955501labto1713955501ofdlr1713955501owedi1713955501sni@i1713955501tnuk.1713955501ardni1713955501mas1713955501

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Grp AWDLFAPIs
USA2101317
Jamaica1101027
Trinidad and Tobago1024103
St Kitts and Nevis0030130
Grp BWDLFAPts
Mexico201726
Qatar111334
Honduras111364
Haiti112463
Grp CWDLFAPts
Panama210537
Costa Rica111764
Martinique102583
El Salvador011342
Grp DWDLFAPts
Guatemala210437
Canada120645
Guadeloupe111854
Cuba001150

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