July 5 – Costa Rica coach Luis Suarez has said he is not too worried about shipping four goals in his team’s win against Martinique ahead of the quarterfinals with Mexico.
For the first time in the tournament, Costa Rica showed purpose in the opponent’s half and with personality and panache they dismantled Martinique after the half time break, scoring four goals to rack up a 6-4 tennis-score victory. Joel Campbell provided an assist and scored. Further up front Anthony Contreras also got on target.
“It was a strange, atypical game, but it seems to me that we did things correctly,” reflected Suarez at a news conference, where for the first time he was not interrogated about resignation. “There was understanding in midfield and the plays were a reflection of what we have seen on the training pitch.”
However, the Ticos conceded four goals, three of which came in the second half. They had also shipped two goals in their opening match, a 2-1 defeat against Panama. Such complacency and laxness at the back must go as Costa Rica enter the business end of the tournament.
“I would have liked to win 6-0 more than 6-4,” said Suarez. “We are aware that we can’t concede that many goals, it’s something we have to improve. I am not going to change absolutely anything. I am not going to change the way of working or the message that we send out. We always want to compete.”
The Costa Rica manager also expressed his respect for Mexico, who will be favourites to win the quarter-final tie with his team. The Mexicans topped their group with two convincing wins against Honduras and Haiti, scoring seven goals in the process, but lost their final group game 1-0 against Qatar.
“We have deep respect because El Tri is one of the biggest teams in Concacaf,” said Suarez. “Together with the United States, with Canada and with Panama. They are the ones out leading the charge. For Costa Rica, it is not easy, neither with Martinique nor with any Caribbean team nor with any team from North America.”
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