HOUSTON -- Costa Rica has history on its side as it wraps up preparations for a meeting with Canada in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Tuesday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
With qualification to the Gold Cup knockout round a possibility for the winner, however, the Ticos are taking nothing for granted.
Costa Rica hasn’t lost to the Canadians in more than a decade, but three of their four meetings over that stretch ended in draws.
“We know very well that we have many things that we need to improve on from our first game,” said Costa Rica goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton. “We’re very aware that three points is very important to us and if we do get them, we qualify for the next round. We have a lot of work to do to make it to the next round.”
Costa Rica has that little extra motivation to get a result as it’s a special occasion for one of its iconic players.
Presuming he plays, Tuesday’s game would be Bryan Ruiz’s 100th international appearance. Given his contributions to the game in Costa Rica, it’s certainly a special occasion, but one that would be tempered if Costa Rica can’t move alone into first place in Group A.
“With respect to Bryan, we are very happy to have another teammate that is reaching 100 games,” Pemberton finished. “We need it to be a grand success for us and the team needs to congratulate Bryan for that 100 games.”
In their last Gold Cup meeting two years ago, Costa Rica and Canada battled to a scoreless stalemate in Toronto.