El Salvador and Costa Rica coaches battle for Gold Cup redemeption

June 30 – All eyes at the Red Bull Arena tonight will be on Costa Rica and their beleaguered coach Luiz Suarez, who is under huge pressure to get the Ticos’ Gold Cup campaign back on track against El Salvador and save his own job.

Defeat will aggravate the crisis in the Ticos camp with elimination from the Gold Cup looming around the corner and Suarez’s position becoming untenable.

Following the defeat against Panama, Ticos fans chanted for Suarez’s head to roll and in a heated press conference the Colombian was subject to a quick fire of dismissive questions. It was no different on the eve of the crunch game with El Salvador, who have their backs against the wall as well after their 2-1 defeat to ten-man Martinique.

“We have to deal with what we have to do from here on out, to solve football situations,” said Suarez. “As far as I am concerned, it’s to do the necessary work to have a better sporting response, to be again the solid team of before again and that we achieve more in attach.

“I am concerned only with sports and I work only in sports. The rest is not up to me. I am focused on training and what refers to the preparation of each game. In the rest, I have no reason to interfere or worry.”

He got unexpected support from his El Salvador counterpart Hugo Perez (pictured), who reminded everyone that Suarez had taken Costa Rica to the World Cup from a losing position in the Octagonal. Perez himself is under pressure as well and had to fend off criticism.

“In all countries, it’s the same and I am no exception. We have not won a game for a year, so criticism will always come. I have to know why the result did not come, or why it is not happening,” said Perez.

“When we lost against Martinique, many who claim to be experts in my country said that I had to go, whether they were journalists or broadcasters or former football players, but the analysis of the game has to be done as well. In the case of Suárez, I don’t know what is going on, I don’t have much of an idea, but I am telling you he took them to the World Cup.”

Amid all the touchline drama, one could be forgiven for forgetting that a match will take place. In quintessential cautious fashion. Suarez said: “In any case, my most important point is that Costa Rica are clear about what they want, where they are going and what they should play for – to win a very important game. My players are aware of how El Salvador play and they are doing what is necessary to win the match.”

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1716532212labto1716532212ofdlr1716532212owedi1716532212sni@i1716532212tnuk.1716532212ardni1716532212mas1716532212



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