The story about the representatives of Group "E" at the World Cup in Qatar continues Costa Rica.
Not everyone would find on the map this small country on the isthmus between Mexico and South America.
Costa Rica was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1502, for a long time the local tribes were under Spanish rule, but in 1821 the country gained independence. Live here now 5 million people. Costa Rica - a kind of American Switzerland, which adheres to neutrality, and even abandoned its army.
The climate allows Costa Rica to rely on agriculture, but industry is well developed here, so not only do they grow coffee, bananas, pineapples, but also produce medical equipment and processors.
Costa Rica has one Olympic champion - swimmer Claudia Poll. As for team sports, soccer is beyond competition.
Costa Rican national soccer team
This is one of the strongest teams in the CONCACAF zone: three times - in 1963, 1969 and 1989, Costa Ricans won the Gold Cup. But they managed to qualify for the World Cup only in 1990 and performed very successfully. In the group stage, they lost to Brazil - 0:1, but defeated Scotland - 1:0 and Sweden - 2:1, and only in the 1/8 finals lost to Czechoslovakia - 1:4.
Since then, the Costa Rican team played in the World Cup four more times: in 2002, 2006, 2014 and 2018, but only once made the playoffs. But how! At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Costa Ricans were first in their group, beating Uruguay 3-1, Italy 1-0, and drawing 0-0 with England. It would have seemed to be the end of luck, but in the 1/8 finals, the team from Central America defeated the unyielding Greeks in a penalty shootout, and in the quarterfinals, they took a penalty shootout against the Netherlands, but this time lost - 0:0, penalty. 3:4. But it was also a sensation - in the same 2014 Costa Rica team climbed to 15th place in the FIFA rankings and became the strongest team in its region.
At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Costa Rica was unable to shine, although it proved to be quite capable. First, they lost to Serbia, 0-1, and then almost created a sensation, holding a zero draw against Brazil for 90 minutes. But then they faltered, and the goals of Filipe Coutinho and Neymar brought the Pentacampeons a 2-0 victory. And in the last game, after losing twice in the score, Costa Rica took a point in a fight with the Swiss, 2-2.
Stars of the Costa Rican national team
At least one famous Costa Rican player will be named by almost everyone: PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas. Some will recall the midfielder Tejeda, who was named Yeltsin by his parents in 1992. Midfielder Bryan Ruiz played for Fulham, PSV and Sporting, midfielder Selso Borges played for Deportivo.
Opponents in Group E
Germany, Spain, Japan.
Forecast on the national team of Costa Rica
Perhaps in such a group, the chances of making the playoffs are microscopic. But if any of the favorites will lose or will be forced to lose by the Japanese, anything can happen, but the Costa Ricans will not pass beyond the 1/8 finals.