Costa Rica feeling forewarned

  • Got their attention: Costa Rica coach Gustavo Matosas, second left, and star man Bryan Ruiz discuss Bermuda at last night’s press conference. The Costa Ricans lead group B

    Got their attention: Costa Rica coach Gustavo Matosas, second left, and star man Bryan Ruiz discuss Bermuda at last night’s press conference. The Costa Ricans lead group B


Gustavo Matosas, the Costa Rica coach, admits he is wary of Bermuda’s attacking threat after analysing their impressive first-half display against Haiti.

Bermuda created a hatful of chances in the opening group B game in San José, Costa Rica, last weekend, but lacked cutting edge and ended up losing 2-1.

Matosas, whose side cruised to a 4-0 win over Nicaragua in their first game, said he has taken precautions to ensure there are no slip-ups against Bermuda.

“They are a very fast team and played very well during the first half against Haiti,” Matosas said through a translator.

“Their captain [Danté Leverock] is tall and scored the first goal. Bermuda scored one but they could have scored two or three. They are a team against which you do have to take many precautions.”

The Argentine-born Uruguayan said he is considering handing Bryan Ruiz his first start of the tournament and that he has specific plans on how to get the best out of him.

Ruiz, the Costa Rica captain, came on as a second-half substitute against Nicaragua and can play as left-sided forward or second striker.

“No one has a fixed place within the team and they have to earn it,” Matosas said. “Bryan is very important to me. For me, he has been a fundamental player for Costa Rica because of how he plays and his role within the team. Playing against Bermuda will be important for him as well. I trust him very much from a football point of view as well as a person.

“Quality doesn’t have a fixed role. Don’t put him in a fixed role; we’ll put him where he will have the most benefit.”

“I have a large percentage of the team selected. Tonight [yesterday], before dinner, I want to talk to some of the players based on the scientific results we use to assess how they are feeling.”

Ruiz, 33, who plays for Brazilian side Santos, said he is ready to perform any role his coach asks of him.

“My way of competing has always been putting in my all,” Ruiz said. “At the moment, the most important thing is the Gold Cup and on my end, I’m putting all my efforts in there.

“I’ll be where the coach wants me to be and he’s been very clear about what he wants from me.”

Stephen Wright travelled to Frisco, Texas, courtesy of Jet Blue, which provided flights between San José, Costa Rica, Orlando and Austin. Flights available from www.jetblue.com

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Published Jun 20, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Jun 20, 2019 at 1:18 am)

Costa Rica feeling forewarned

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