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Luis Fernando Suarez: ‘We must be emotionally strong against Germany’

Luis Fernando Suarez: ‘We must be emotionally strong against Germany’

Costa Rica head coach Luis Fernando Suarez has said that his side will have to be “emotionally strong” if they are to stand a chance of progressing to the last-16 stage of the 2022 World Cup.

Los Ticos suffered a 7-0 loss to Spain in their tournament opener on November 23, but they recorded a 1-0 victory over Japan last time out to move onto three points in Group E.

Costa Rica are currently third in the section on three points and would guarantee their spot in the next round of the competition with a victory over Germany.

A draw for La Sele would also see them advance if Spain beat Japan, and Suarez has said that the fact his side are the underdogs should stand them in good stead heading into their final game in Group E.

Costa Rica's Keysher Fuller scores against Japan at the World Cup on November 27, 2022© Reuters

Costa Rica have twice been present in the knockout round of the World Cup, reaching the round of 16 in 1990 before progressing to the quarter-finals in 2014.

“Eight years have gone by and players have changed but you have good memories. Maybe it’s down to the genes of the Costa Ricans,” Suarez told reporters.

“When they reach a World Cup they do things differently and they play well. I’m not just talking about 2014 in Brazil, I think also in Italy 1990 they reached the last 16 when no one believed in them. They are never the favourites, which is good.

“We need to be emotionally strong and break our backs in this match. Of course, if Germany is knocked out it would be a major thing and we would be proud to be responsible for that.”

Costa Rica's Celso Borges in action with Spain's Sergio Busquets at the World Cup on November 23, 2022© Reuters

Meanwhile, Costa Rica midfielder Celso Borges, who could win his 158th cap on Thursday, has said that the match could provide “a historical moment” for the team.

“We have the utmost respect for Germany. But it’s all down to us and if we learn from our mistakes in the last two games we have good vibes and good energy,” he said.

“I think it’s a huge motivation for us. I think this could be an historical moment for us.”

Costa Rica’s first shot on target in the tournament saw them beat Japan last time out, with Keysher Fuller managing to lift the ball over goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda.

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