Sunday 25 September 2022

Ticos Face Pinto And His Team Today At 3:00pm

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The Seleccion – Costa Rica’s national team – practicing in Honduras on Monday, Photo Daniel Jiménez, La Nacion

Q SPORTS – Get ready for another say of soccer (futbol in Spanish) in paradise, as the national team, La Seleccion or Sele, take on Honduras in CONCACAF world cup qualifying.

Game time is at 3:00pm local time.

After a 2-0 loss to Mexico on Friday, Costa Rica slipped to second place, but still in good shape on their road to Russia in 2018.

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Today’s game goes beyond the soccer field, as the Sele meets with its former coach, Jorge Luis Pinto, the man who took them only a few short years ago to a new high in FIFA play, to the quarter finals in the 2014 World Cup .

Jorge Luis Pinto, the current coach of the Hondruas national team, led the Ticos to their 2014 World Cup quarter ginals.

Honduras always tries to make its opponents as uncomfortable as possible when they visit San Pedro Sula.

High temperatures are expected to be in the 30s Celsius (90s F) with a humidity over 70%.

Then there’s the fact that the Sele has a record of winning only 17% of their games in Honduras in World Cup qualifying. That record is similar to its games in Mexico (16%) and the United States (18%).

There’s also Pinto’s acrimonious split from Costa Rica after 2014.

But, though the Ticos face a tough day, Pinto has to be the one on the hot seat.

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A defeat today would keep Honduras in last place, with still to face Mexico and Panama. A win for Honduras and Pinto, would mean the Colombian born coach stays on to fight another battle. A loss could see him suffer the same fate by U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann let go after a  lopsided defeat of 4-0 loss to Costa Rica.

Pinto’s exact salary has never come to light, but he said he turned down an offer to coach a Chinese team for US$250,000 per month after he took Costa Rica to the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup.

For the some of the Tico players, a win today could mean sweet revenge.

The Sele’s captain, Bryan Ruiz, “the bad taste of the mouth of the Mexico (2-0) defeat only with a victory against Pinto and his team.”

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For others, like forward Marco Ureña, “we have to face Honduras the way it has to be, without complexes, although we know the atmosphere will be difficult, like the one lived in the Azteca (Mexico).”

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