Costa Rica returns to the world stage on Sunday, opening their 2018 World Cup campaign against Serbia on Sunday, looking for another strong run after pulling off the unthinkable to reach the quarter-finals in 2014 in Brazil.
Game time: Sunday at 6:00 a.m.
The Costa Rica Beer Factory, in Barrio Escalante, in San Jose, is offering its patrons 10 mattresses and a 76′ screen (and three smaller ones) to watch the game in a bed. The owners said they will be preparing the place early Sunday morning for people to enjoy the game with all the comfort, even in pajamas if they so choose. Of course, the traditional gallo pinto will also be served, but no liquor. The bar says it still has openings for the June 22 game against Brazil.
Costa Rica’s player to watch is Keylor Navas in goal. Possible line-up: Giancarlo Gonzalez, Oscar Duarte, Johnny Acosta, Cristian Gamboa, Bryan Oviedo, David Guzman, Celso Borges, Bryan Ruiz (captain), Christian Bolanos and Marco Ureña.
Here are best from Costa Rica’s official photo shoot (from Fifa.com)
“I do feel really proud of the fact that I’m the first Costa Rican-born coach to lead our team at a World Cup. I’m really happy, but it is a huge responsibility”, said Costa Rica head coach Oscar Ramirez.
The Ticos are hoping to improve on the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The first game will be a key one and they know it.
On the Serbia side, speaking ahead of the clash on Sunday, goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic, who has urged his team to be patient and not go out “all guns blazing” against Costa Rica, told Fifa.com: “The match against Costa Rica is not ‘do or die’, we have three matches, all of them 90 minutes and Costa Rica is a strong opponent. We have to be smart and not go in all guns blazing. The most important thing is not to lose.”
Samara Arena is the setting for the Costa Rica and Serbia game. The stadium capacity is 45,000.