The Óscar Ramírez era got off to a slow and sloppy start, but there’s still a long way until the finish line. With just three weeks to prepare under a new head coach and without its best player, Costa Rica looked flat and out of sync against five-time world champion Brazil in the 1-0 loss at Saturday’s friendly in New Jersey.
“La Sele,” which returns home to Costa Rica to take on Uruguay on Tuesday, still has three exhibition games on its schedule to adapt to Ramirez’s new schemes before 2018 World Cup qualifying begins in November. The new coach is charged with the task of revamping Costa Rica’s defense, which was a recurring problem under former headman Paulo Wanchope.
In the opening minutes of Saturday’s game, La Sele’s defense failed to adjust right away to the Brazilians’ fast pace. Brazil’s David Luiz had a clear shot at goal after Johnny Acosta failed to clear a pass into the box, but goalie Patrick Pemberton’s quick reaction momentarily saved Costa Rica from going down early.
Minutes later Brazil’s “Hulk,” Givanildo Vieira de Sousa, stole the ball from defender Giancarlo González in front of goal and struck an easy score past Pemberton. González, who figures to be Ramírez’s most reliable defender going forward, has struggled ever … continue reading
Via:: Tico Times