Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

Fixtures & Results

Brazil BRA 2

Costa Rica CRI 0


Nigeria NGA 2

Iceland ISL 0


Serbia SRB 1

Switzerland SUI 2


Belgium BEL 5

Tunisia TUN 2


South Korea KOR 1

Mexico MEX 2


Germany GER 2

Sweden SWE 1


England ENG 6

Panama PAN 1


Japan JPN 1

Senegal SEN 1


Poland POL

Colombia COL

Saudi Arabia SAU

Egypt EGY

Uruguay URY

Russia RUS

Spain ESP

Morocco MAR

Iran IRN

Portugal POR

Denmark DNK

France FRA

Australia AUS

Peru PER

Iceland ISL

Croatia CRO

Nigeria NGA

Argentina ARG

Mexico MEX

Sweden SWE

South Korea KOR

Germany GER

Switzerland SUI

Costa Rica CRI

Serbia SRB

Brazil BRA

Senegal SEN

Colombia COL

Japan JPN

Poland POL

Panama PAN

Tunisia TUN

England ENG

Belgium BEL

Home Sport Football

Costa Rica in focus

Los Ticos were World Cup quarter-finalists four years ago.

Costa Rica are Northern Ireland’s opponents in San Jose this Sunday in the hosts’ final home friendly before the World Cup.

Here Press Association Sport runs the rule over Los Ticos.


Costa Rica beat Scotland in March (Jane Barlow/PA)

In terms of recent history, Costa Rica reached the last eight of the 2014 World Cup – their fourth participation in that tournament – and they famously topped a group featuring England, Italy and Uruguay. In fact, Los Ticos did not lose a game in Brazil and were only knocked out by Holland in a penalty shoot-out. Costa Rica qualified for Russia by finishing runners-up to Mexico in the final group stage, and they recently beat Scotland 1-0 in March in Alex McLeish’s first game back as manager.


Oscar Ramirez enjoyed great success as a club boss (Jane Barlow/PA)

Oscar Ramirez was appointed three years ago after previous boss Paulo Wanchope, who played for Derby and Manchester City, resigned following a brawl in the stands of an under-23s game in Panama. Ramirez is a former Costa Rica international who secured 75 caps, and he won multiple league titles as a boss with Alajuelense prior to taking up the post with the national team.


Bryan Ruiz, pictured, used to play with Aaron Hughes at Fulham (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Unlike Northern Ireland’s last opponents Panama, Costa Rica’s squad features several names more recognisable to European football fans. The most high profile, goalkeeper Keylor Navas, has joined up with the squad after winning a third successive Champions League with Real Madrid last weekend, while perennial Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell is also in Ramirez’s group. Bryan Oviedo is a team-mate of Paddy McNair’s at Sunderland, Los Ticos captain Bryan Ruiz and Aaron Hughes played together at Fulham and Celtic’s Cristian Gamboa was at West Brom with Jonny Evans and Gareth McAuley.

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