Samara (Russia), June 16 (IANS) Costa Rica’s coach Oscar Ramirez on Saturday said that his squad cannot rest on the laurels of their quarter-final birth in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but instead must now begin again and focus on their upcoming Serbian opponent ahead of their 2018 World Cup opener in Russia.
Four years ago, the Costa Rican team reached the World Cup quarter-finals, their best-ever run in the tournament, ultimately losing to the Netherlands in a quarter-final penalty shootout, reports Efe.
“(The 2014 World Cup) was one story, now we have to make another story that starts tomorrow. The most important thing is to win in order to have the possibility (to qualify for the next round),” Ramirez said at a press conference ahead of Sunday’s match.
“Serbia and our team are on the same level, Switzerland and Brazil are the favourites. But… surprises can happen like what we pulled off four years ago, when we qualified (for the knockout stages) atop of a group of world champions,” Ramirez added.
In the 2014 World Cup, Costa Rica won group D ahead of three former World Cup champions; England (1966), Uruguay (1930, 1950) and Italy (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006).