Mexico and Costa Rica, two giants of the region's football landscape, have shrunk down to size amid competition in the Gold Cup. As they enter Sunday's quarterfinal match, both sides are looking to make up for blown opportunities in the group stage that saw seemingly sure victories turn into draws.
Costa Rican footballers took a total of 10 awards at the annual Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Awards announced on Tuesday, including Tico goalie Keylor Navas, who won Player of the Year.
Real Madrid needed Keylor Navas to make a save just four minutes into today's match against La Liga opponent Elche. Navas got in front of a big free kick from captain Edu Albácar. Albácar prevailed against the Tico goalie 10 minutes later with a penalty kick.
Expectations will be sky-high for Costa Rica at this week's Central America Cup -- even though the team only will carry a handful of players from its history-making World Cup squad. Fortunately for the Ticos, they will open the tournament against the worst team in the region.