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Luis Fernando Suarez: ‘Costa Rica dreaming of last-16 spot at World Cup’

Luis Fernando Suarez: ‘Costa Rica dreaming of last-16 spot at World Cup’

Costa Rica head coach Luis Fernando Suarez has said that his side “can still dream” of a spot in the knockout round of the World Cup following their 1-0 victory over Japan on Sunday.

Los Ticos were hammed 7-0 by Spain in their tournament opener on November 23, while Japan entered the contest off the back of a 2-1 victory over Germany.

Costa Rica managed to secure all three points courtesy of a 81st-minute effort from Keysher Fuller, which proved to be the team’s first shot on target in the entire tournament.

Suare has lavished praise on his players for bouncing back from the heavy loss to Spain, and he believes that his side deserve huge credit for their victory over an Japan side that were hugely impressive against Germany.

“I need to value and appreciate what my players have done to get this result,” Suarez told reporters.

Costa Rica coach Luis Fernando Suarez during the match on March 30, 2022© Reuters

“We had to face many challenges. However, we firmly believed and wanted to do things well to be 100% committed to our country to play well against an opponent such as Japan.

“Yes, we won against Japan, but we must emphasise that we won against this (particular) national team of Japan. They are playing so well during this World Cup and this is something that needs to be appreciated greatly.

“We weren’t dead yesterday and we are still very much alive today, and we have to think about the next match on Thursday.

“We will have to play (against Germany) with the same pressure as in the past two games. But we are well alive, no one can forget about us just yet – we can still dream.

Costa Rica's Joel Campbell in action with Japan's Ritsu Doan at the World Cup on November 27, 2022© Reuters

“We were aware of what happened against Spain. I won’t tell you what happened in the locker room, but we were very well aware of the situation. It was very painful for every one of us.

“Imagine coming to a World Cup and then losing in that way… it’s not something that you adjust to easily. In the last few days, we worked much more than usual to get a victory today.

“Today I still believe that basically we need to focus on how we prepare for the game on Thursday, make sure that the boys train the best they can – that’s an important step.

“Moving on to the next stage only depends on us. It’s a huge effort on our side. But as long as we make this effort, we’ll be there.”

Costa Rica are currently third in Group E, level on three points with both second-placed Japan and leaders Spain, ahead of their final match in the tournament against Germany.

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