MIAMI.- Nicaragua will make its third Concacaf Gold Cup appearance as it faces Costa Rica in its opener in Group B on Sunday, June 16.
Head Coach Henry Duarte’s team has committed to earning its first ever Gold Cup result, and is expecting to have a good game against Costa Rica, who will be playing on its home turf in San Jose’s Estadio Nacional.
“We hope to have a good start in the Gold Cup, which we did not have in the past,” said center-back Luis Fernando Copete to reporters in a mixed zone this week. “The group is very mature, we know what we want, we are very aware of what we are going to play. We hope to do it with that confidence that is needed to achieve it."
Defender Manuel Rosas is confident that they can play a good role. "We have worked well and we have experience, so to speak. We know that if at any given time we have a close match, we can play a good role.”
Midfielder Juan Barrera is not only the leader of Nicaragua but also their most important player. He regularly gets on the score sheet for Nicaragua and his contributions have propelled Nicaragua to a level they have never been.
Two years ago, Nicaragua managed to beat Haiti to qualify for the Gold Cup in 2017. In that match, Barrera scored a hat-trick after the 80th-minute to earn an incredible result, a moment that neither side has forgotten. He also netted five goals in Concacaf Nations League qualifying for this year’s edition of the tournament.