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Costa Rica seeks to vindicate itself in friendly against Qatar

November 12, 2020

The Costa Rican men’s soccer team will face Qatar on Friday as the Ticos prepare for World Cup qualifiers and seek vindication after two shameful home defeats against Panama.

The match will be played at 6:00 p.m. local time (5 p.m. GMT, 11 a.m. in Costa Rica) at the BSFZ Arena in the town of Maria Enzersdorf, near Vienna.

The Costa Rican Football Federation (Fedefutbol) announced Thursday the change of venues. The match was originally scheduled for the Austrian town of Hartberg.

La Sele trained Wednesday in Austria under freezing weather that anticipates the arrival of the boreal winter, preparing for a friendly against the country that will host the 2022 World Cup.

“Qatar has grown a lot, they are organized, they like to attack and both technically and tactically they are very good,” said right-back Cristian Gamboa.

“The process that’s being led by a Spanish coach (Félix Sánchez) has been long, which has allowed them to know each other very well and create great things,” he added.

The duel will be the first that the Costa Rican team carries out after losing on October 10 and 13 at home by identical scores of 1-0 against Panama, results that cooled Costa Rican fans with their national team.

Manager Rónald González has defended himself, noting that he could not count on legionaries or many players from the local tournament because of Covid-19 infections and travel restrictions.

For the duel against Qatar, and next Monday against the Basque Country, González was able to summon international players, including Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Keylor Navas, the main figure in Costa Rican football.

González worked for an hour and a half this Wednesday on the Hartberg field to prepare the tactical approach and envision the alignment he will use, according to a statement from the Costa Rican Football Federation.

“We are very positive, there are very good feelings, the group is ready to get the games out,” said midfielder Deyver Vega, from Sadefjord Norway.

“Although we have to work on some concepts to be ready, it seems to me that we are good and focused on what we want, which is to win,” Vega said.

The following are the possible alignments:

Costa Rica:

Keylor Navas
Cristian Gamboa, Kendall Waston, Oscar Duarte, Francisco Calvo
Celso Borges, David Guzmán, Randall Leal, Joel Campbell
Johan Venegas, Felicio Brown

Qatar:

Fahad Younis
Musaab Kheder, Boualem Khoukhi, Tarek Salman, Abdelkarim Hassan
Moayed Hassan, Ahmed Alaeldin, Karim Boudiaf, Abdulaziz Hatem
Akram Afif, Almoez Ali.

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