Uruguay vs Costa Rica will be played at Castelão stadium in Fortaleza on Saturday, June 14 (12 PM PST, 4:00 PM local time), in the first match of the “group of the death” that they share with Italy and England.
Uruguay is the team that won the only World Cup played in Brazil, in 1950, when they defeated the locals in the final in a historic match named “el Maracanazo”. Sixty four years later, and after reaching semifinals in South Africa 2010 and winning the Americas Cup in 2011, their fans hope that they can repeat that performance and win their third World Cup.
Uruguay qualified for the World Cup after finishing in the fifth position of the South American qualification and defeating Jordan in a two-game playoff. Uruguay have not lost in their last six matches, with 4 wins and 2 ties, including a victory over Argentina in Montevideo in the last match of the CONMEBOL qualification.
The main uncertainty for the manager Óscar Tabárez and Uruguayan fans is the striker and star of the team Luis Suárez, the top-scorer in the last Premier League season with 31 goals in 32 matches for Liverpool, who is recovering from a knee injury. He returned to train with his teammates but apparently the boss won’t risk him, taking into account that the following games against England and Italy seem to be tougher than the one against Costa Rica.
The good news is that both striker Diego Forlán (digestive upset) and skipper Diego Lugano (muscle fatigue) returned to normal training on Thursday after missing Wednesday training session.
On the other hand, Costa Rica qualified to the World Cup by finishing in the second position in the CONCACAF fourth round qualification, four points behind United States.
Costa Rica national team will be playing their fourth World Cup. In 1990 they reached the round of 16, and in 2002 and 2006 they didn’t pass the group stage. In the present edition they didn’t have good luck in the draw, and it will be almost impossible for them to reach the round of 16 – if they do they’ll definitely be the World Cup surprise team.
Most players in the team managed by the Colombian Jorge Luis Pinto play in their local league or in the MLS, with a few exceptions that perform in Europe. Their main player is the 21-year-old Joel Campbell from Arsenal, who played on loan for Olympiacos in the last season.
For this World Cup they had four important men out due to injuries: strikers Álvaro Saborío (plays for Real Salt Lake, foot injury), and Rodney Wallace (Portland Timbers, knee), and defenders Bryan Oviedo (Everton, broken leg) and Heiner Mora (Deportivo Saprissa, Achilles), who got injured last weekend.
Uruguay vs Costa Rica Prediction
Clearly, Uruguay have a far better squad than Costa Rica, and although the Ticos will give everything to win at least one point, I don’t think that they can achieve their goal, Uruguay have good defenders and, even with Suárez out, they have a very dangerous man in attack like Edison Cavani.
Uruguay 3 – 0 Costa Rica
Uruguay vs Costa Rica Television
The Uruguay vs Costa Rica match will be televised in the USA on ESPN3 (stream) and Univision Deportes at 12:00 PM Pacific on Friday.