Mexico took to its afternoon practice on Thursday at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose in preparation for the World Cup qualifying match against Costa Rica on Friday.SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- Jose Manuel 'Chepo' de la Torre and the Mexican national team arrived in Central America after an early Thursday flight from Mexico City. El Tri surveyed the pitch at the Estadio Nacional amidst thick fog, but El Tri's manager insisted that weather would not be a factor.
"Well, the pitch is in perfect condition and the stage is very pretty," said De la Torre at Thursday's press conference. "Conditions are very good for both teams and we'll try to impose our style of play with consideration to the game's circumstances."
Costa Rica has already dropped points at home, drawing against El Salvador before taking all three from Guyana. Thus, the need for Jorge Luis Pinto's side to win at home is not alien to De la Torre, who made reference to the situation.
"It's complicated because they're a good team with good players and they're at home. The circumstances that they're going through could create pressure for them," said the former Chivas and Toluca boss.
When asked about what he expects from the opposing side on Friday, 'Chepo' was cautious about giving anything away in terms of strategy. "They have to come out with a certain aggressiveness up front. The situation can change as the game goes on. We're expecting the best Costa Rica," he said.
Mexico last faced Costa Rica in the 2011 Gold Cup, when the eventual champ trounced the Central Americans by a final score of 4-1. A quick offensive start for Mexico created early goals for El Tri, something that Costa Rica will actively try to avoid this time around.
"The game isn't about how you start or how you finish. It's a 90 minute match or whatever the referee says it is. We expect an intense beginning, but we expect to counter that while expecting the best Costa Rica in front of us," he finished.
Juan Ramon Miranda contributed reporting to this article from San Jose, Costa Rica.
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