Costa Rica’s national team arrived in Mexico City on Monday, with the team down two men as Fulham’s Bryan Ruiz and Comuncaciones defender Michael Umana were disregarded by manager Jorge Luis Pinto due to injury.
Pinto said he was not worried about duplicating the feat Costa Rica achieved at the Estadio Azteca 11 years ago, when Los Ticos handed Mexico its only loss at the mythical stadium in a World Cup qualifying match.
“We’re not focused on the past, we’re focused on the present,” said Pinto upon arrival to the Mexican capital. “We’ve come to seek out the result we want, we have to play a smart game,” he continued.
With Friday’s loss, Costa Rica clings to the vital second place with four points in Group B following El Salvador’s failure to beat Guyana at home. El Salvador drew and climbed to two points. A win in Mexico would almost assure that Pinto’s men stamp their ticket to the final hexagonal round en route to Brazil 2014.
Meanwhile, El Salvador travels to Guyana to face the South Americans in a crucial match that could see the Cuscatlecos jump past Costa Rica if they lose to Mexico.