Costa Rica players celebrate a goal, in a match of the Concacaf qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 World Cup between Costa Rica and El Salvador, in a photograph of October 9, 2021. EFE / Jeffrey Arguedas
San José, Oct 14 (EFE) .- An experienced generation of footballers for whom they have not found a replacement guarantee, keeps Costa Rica afloat in the World Cup qualifier in Qatar after the three October games in which the team led by Colombian coach Luis Fernando Suárez, continues to exhibit a poor offensive level.
In October’s triple matchday, Costa Rica achieved a goalless draw as a visitor against Honduras, a 2-1 home victory against El Salvador, and a 2-1 defeat in the United States, placing the Ticos in the fifth box with only 6 points after 6 rounds played on the octagonal.
Costa Rica has only scored 4 goals in this tie and only one has been the work of a striker.
The saves of goalkeeper Keylor Navas in practically all the games, have allowed Costa Rica to add points and stay afloat 4 units from third place, Canada, and two from fourth, Panama, which is the position that will access a play-off at the end octagonal.
EXPERIENCE AS A BASIS
Coach Suárez has bet on a veteran player base that make up the brilliant generation that attended Brazil 2014 and Russia 20218, but whose players are already over 30 years old without a replacement that generates confidence.
Keylor Navas is the standard bearer of this generation that when it took its first steps was left out of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Full-back Oscar Duarte, left-back Bryan Oviedo, midfielders Bryan Ruiz, Celso Borges and Yeltsin Tejeda, as well as forward Joel Campbell make up the team’s experienced point guard.
For Wednesday’s commitment in the United States, 37-year-old right winger Christian Bolaños and 39-year-old forward Álvaro Saborío were called to replace the injured, both World Cup players in distant Germany 2006, which revealed the Suarez’s lack of confidence in younger players.
Ruiz, Borges, Saborío and Campbell are already over 100 games with the national team, while Navas is close to that figure.
This experienced base has kept Costa Rica hopeful in the tie, but the criticism from the press and the fans is the lack of a generational change that can replace them when the energy does not give in a game.
The general criticism of the Costa Rican press is that Suárez takes too long to make changes and that the team does not have a clear idea of attack, which is reflected in the low number of arrivals and shots on target per game.
“We did not know how to have the ball well, there was a lack of foundation and to elaborate the game further,” said the coach after the game in the United States.
Suárez took office at the end of last June and in his calls there are always many changes with respect to the previous one, to which he adds that he calls young players without a selection trajectory, to whom he does not give minutes either.
Despite criticism, the president of the Costa Rican Football Federation, Rodolfo Villalobos, has ruled out a change on the bench.
“I would have to be crazy to make a change at this time. I cannot let myself be carried away by the heat of a result, the pressures of the press or the fury of the fans,” Villalobos told Teletica Radio.
In this process, two footballers have already resigned from the national team: the 19-year-old forward from Dutch Twente, Manfred Ugalde, and the experienced Alajuelense defender Giancarlo González.
Ugalde said that Suárez exposed him publicly with statements at a press conference after leaving him in the stands in the game against Jamaica last September, while González argued that he prefers to give space to young players.
In November, Costa Rica will visit Canada and host Honduras, matches in which a large part of its chances of fighting for one of the three direct tickets to the World Cup or for the play-off will be played.