Costa Rica hosts the USA in round 14 of the third stage of the World Cup qualification. The match will be played on Thursday, March 31st at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica (San José)
Costa Rica quite successfully performed at the world championships in this century. Since 2002, the Ticos missed only one World Cup in 2010. But after four years, they became a discovery in Brazil, reaching the quarterfinals. Keylor Navas and the company also went to Russia in 2018. And now Costa Rica will probably fight for promotion to the World Cup in the international playoffs. The chances of catching up with the United States or Mexico are only mathematical, as both giants are ahead of the Ticos by three points. The Costa Ricans can catch up with the Americans if they win now. But everything depends on the goal difference factor, and it is much better for the Stars and Stripes (21-8 vs 11-8). It is unrealistic to win 6-0, even though the Costa Ricans are now in good shape. In the last six rounds, the Ticos gained five victories and tied against Mexico away. In March, they managed to beat Canada and El Salvador. Such results allowed them to guarantee at least fourth place, as the lead over Panama is four points.
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The US national team made a terrible misfire five years ago. One of the unconditional favorites of the region interrupted a streak of constant performances at the world championships, having managed to fail the qualification. There were even conspiracy theories that the Americans simply did not want to go to Russia. But it seems that you just shouldn’t overestimate the level of this team. Even now it is not so impressive, and only the result of the penultimate round allowed the Yanks to issue a 99 percent return to the World Cup. In the current qualifiers, they gained seven victories in 13 rounds. And they never managed to win more than twice in a row. In 2022, the Americans scored the maximum number of points only exclusively in their territory, as was the case with Panama (5-1). After the New Year, the USA earned only one point on foreign pitches, but they played against other leaders. Namely, the Yanks minimally lost to Canada and shared points with Mexico (0-0). However, this was actually enough to de facto break away from Costa Rica.
The Americans have been able to win the last four head-to-head matches. Yes, three of them were friendly, but the Yanks also won 2-1 in the first game of these qualifiers. Bookmakers think that the visitors are the favorites of the upcoming match. But they actually don’t need anything anymore. We recommend betting that the hosts will at least not lose.