The Final Draw ceremony for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia took place on Friday, December 1, in Moscow’s Kremlin State Palace with Costa Rica drawn into Group E with Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia (competing as the former Yugoslavia).

Claiming one of the automatic qualifying spots from the CONCACAF region, Costa Rica is looking in 2018 to go past the quarter-finals of Brazil 2014.

Although in Russia La Sele (Costa Rica’s national team) will not have to face three world champions as it did in 2014, it will have to knock down the Brazilian power who five-time world champions. Serbia and Switzerland are no slouches either.

Costa Rica opens the 2018 games against Serbia on June 17, followed up against Brazil on June 22 and Switzerland on June 27. The first two games will be seen at 6:00 am in Costa Rica and the third at noon.

It’s a challenge, Costa Rica has to play the game very intelligently against the Europeans, known to close ranks and not a romantic bunch, in contrast to the South Americans.

In 2014, the Ticos beat Italy, Uruguay, England, and Greece on their way to the quarterfinals, then falling to the Netherlands on penalties. In Russia, they will surely want to repeat that feat. They beat the odds in 2014, they can in 2018.

However, one of the largest online sports betting outfits in the world, Bet365 doesn’t have faith in the Ticos, placing Costa Rica with the least chance of winning the lead. The money at Bet365 is on Brazil.

2018 FIFA World Cup

A total of 64 games will be played to decide the winner of the FIFA World Cup.

The opening game places host Russia against Saudi Arabia on Thursday, June 14; the final game will played on July 15, in the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow.