SAN JOSE, Costa Rica.- For the first time, Costa Rica will play a match on home soil in the Concacaf Gold Cup, as it meets Nicaragua at Estadio Nacional on Sunday June 16 to open Group B play.
Although the teams have never met in the Gold Cup, Costa Rica leads the all-time series that dates back to 1941, with a 16W-1D-1L record.
Costa Rica, who is seeking its first Gold Cup title, has plenty of firepower in its attack and boasts five players who scored in Concacaf World Cup Qualifying for Russia 2018: Marco Urena, Joel Campbell, Christian Bolanos, Johan Venegas and Kendall Waston. Those five combined for a total of 14 goals in 10 matches.
Costa Rica will certainly be aware of the expectations after finishing second in the Hexagonal stage of World Cup 2018 qualifying and reaching the Gold Cup quarterfinals 10 consecutive times.
Meanwhile, Nicaragua, who will be making its third Gold Cup appearance and its second in a row, will be led by veteran winger and captain Juan Barrera, who has 18 goals in 50 caps.
As it looks to have a better run in the 2019 Gold Cup, Nicaragua’s defensive end has more experience with Manuel Rosas on its side. The defender is key to the Pinolero defense, registering the most effective passes (161) in Concacaf National League Qualifying.
Nicaragua will be leaning on its past experiences against Costa Rica.