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  • June 7, 2014
  • • 01:00
  • • PPL Park, Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Referee: R. Castro
  • • Attendance: 7000

Costa Rica-Republic of Ireland Preview: Central Americans in dire need of World Cup warm-up win

Costa Rica-Republic of Ireland Preview: Central Americans in dire need of World Cup warm-up win

Jorge Luis Pinto's troops have managed just a solitary victory this year, against Paraguay in March, meaning a positive result is essential against Martion O'Neill's men

With just one win in 2014 so far, Costa Rica will want to end their World Cup preparations on a high against the Republic of Ireland.

A 2-1 triumph over Paraguay in March is Costa Rica's sole triumph in their last five fixtures, and Friday's clash with Ireland represents their last opportunity to fine-tune ahead of the tournament in Brazil.

There is little doubt, of course, that the Central Americans begin the World Cup as overwhelming underdogs in Group D - Jorge Luis Pinto's men arguably face the toughest trio of first-round fixtures, as they come up against Uruguay, Italy and England.

Costa Rica slipped to a disappointing 3-1 defeat at the hands of fellow World Cup entrants Japan on Monday, just a couple of days after Pinto had confirmed his 23-man squad.

After captain Bryan Ruiz had given his side the lead in Florida, the Japanese hit back with goals from Yasuhito Endo, Shinji Kagawa and Yoichiro Kakitani.

Pinto will be eager to avoid a similar collapse against Ireland, who could prove to be an ideal warm-up for the match against England, with the majority of the squad plying their trade in the Premier League and Championship.

Before England, Costa Rica's World Cup campaign gets under way against Uruguay on June 14.

Ireland are going in search of their first win in five, but held Italy to a creditable goalless draw at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

And they will have been boosted by the news that Roy Keane has apparently ruled himself out of the running for the vacant managerial post at Celtic to remain as assistant to national boss Martin O'Neill.

"Naturally, I'm very pleased and delighted that he has done so," said O'Neill. "Maybe we might just get on with things now.

"It's obviously good news for us, for everyone concerned I think. The players in particular are delighted and so are the rest of us.

"Everything now this minute is on the back burner in terms of all speculation and all that type of stuff. I don't really want to continue on with this until we come back from the United States."

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Costa Rica

Republic of Ireland


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Costa Rica CRI
Costa Rica Costa Rica
Republic of Ireland IRL
Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland

Top 3 Predictions

Costa Rica CRI
1 - 1
Republic of Ireland IRL
Costa Rica CRI
0 - 2
Republic of Ireland IRL
Costa Rica CRI
2 - 1
Republic of Ireland IRL


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