Costa Ricans hoping to improve at UNCAF
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - The head coach of the Costa Rican national team, Jorge Luis Pinto, was content that his squad came out on top of its opening UNCAF Copa Centroamericana against Belize, 1-0, on Friday at the Estadio Nacional.

Pinto acknowledged that the rival has made things difficult, as Belize was particularly successful at closing down space and generally complicating the Ticos' evening.

"It's not easy to play the opening game against a team that's packed in defensively," Pinto said.

Despite that, the coach said he expects improvement from his team in the future, as it heads into a match with Nicaragua this Sunday.

"I hope we can improve a bit more, but I like the way we took care of the ball," Pinto said. "We can give more, we can play better football."

For his part, Costa Rican forward Jairo Arrieta was pleased after scoring the lone goal for the Tricolor against Belize.

"We would have wanted to win by more goals, but the opponent also plays a role," said the Columbus Crew striker.

According to Arrieta, though the goal is important to him on a personal level, the most important thing was for the team to win and secure the three points.

"The goal was very important for me, but also what's really important is that the team wins," the 29-year-old added. "We won and now we have to keep working towards the next game."

Costa Rica leads Group A with three points, two ahead of Guatemala and Sunday's rival, Nicaragua.