The sun rose early in beautiful Costa Rica and the Ticos, full of faith and hope, got up to start their day. The clothes to go to work were the same for everyone: a national team shirt or a red shirt and a flag. There was an atmosphere of nervousness and tension, mixed with the deep joy that the Ticos feel when they see their national team compete.
The dream and illusion of an entire country was represented by 11 players; 11 warriors who would leave their skin, life, sweat, blood and tears to bring their people the joy of qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar.
Rodrigo Chaves, President of Costa Rica, had announced that the lunch break would be extended to enjoy the game and thousands of companies invited their employees to a lunch to support La Sele. Regardless of job or profession, today all Costa Ricans were one in support of the soccer team.
Seven provinces, one heart; from Los Chiles on the northern border to Peñas Blancas on the southern limit: the country sung the anthem in unison, while on the field the players chanted it with passion and fervor.
Barely a few minutes into the first half and the whole country was cheering and shouting Joel Campbell’s goal. The minutes passed and the tension was building up in the ambient, the fans’ faces were filled with concern. New Zealand’s goal came as a bucket of cold water and many people’s hearts stopped as the VAR reviewed the play. Finally, there was no goal and the Ticos applauded as if the national team had scored again.
On San Jose’s Central Avenue, hundreds of fans packed the street to watch the game on giant screens. It was like a giant red tide that tinged the street, shouting, jumping, singing and also having some tense moments. In the end, the suffering and the thousands of emotions were worth it and those who were in the center of the capital cheered loudly for the qualification to the World Cup.
The National Stadium hosted hundreds of other fans, who joined in the Fan Fest. There was music, food, lots of displays and activities with national team sponsors. As a family, Costa Ricans gathered at the home of their national team to live the exciting match, suffer together and, with their support, play a key role in the win against New Zealand.
The Hispanidad Fountain, Costa Ricans’ favorite venue for their celebrations, was decked out in white, blue and red. Thousands of ecstatic ticos jumped into the streets to rejoice after making it to the World Cup. With the chant of ‘oe oe oe oe ticos’, while dancing, singing they enjoyed the sweet taste of victory.
Those who traveled by car took out their flags, played their whistles, played their radios with songs of the National Team; no one wanted to miss out. Some people even leaned out the car window to sing while waving their hands and flags.