Costa Rica Scouting Report

Undoubtedly Costa Rica are the surprise of the tournament. No-one expected them to qualify from the group stage but here they are in the quarter finals. The secret has been coach Luis Pinto’s adaptability of approach, and today Costa Rica face a Holland team also capable of changing things up. These two teams have been content to react to each opponent. This is possibly reflected in the lack of chances both teams have created in the box:



People may have expected this from Costa Rica but not from Holland. Anyway, lets have a look at Pinto’s team:


Costa Rica v Uruguay



  1. Defence high in possession
  2. Duarte (now suspended) outlet from defence
  3. Borges main midfield hub
  4. Gamboa outlet to forwards
  5. Forwards heavily involved
  6. Few attacking link ups left side


Costa Rica v Italy



  1. Switch to left side dominance
  2. Umana and Diaz main defensive outlets
  3. Borges midfield hub
  4. Few direct attacking link ups on the left
  5. Ruiz heavily involved


Costa Rica v Greece



  1. Duarte (suspended) main defensive outlet
  2. Balanced distribution
  3. Borges midfield hub
  4. Gamboa outlet to forwards
  5. Forwards heavily involved


Points to Note

  1. Costa Rica build attacks quickly using few touches per player
  1. Ruiz and Campbell will show for the ball more than most strikers
  1. They prefer to do this on the right side of pitch (Dutch left)
  1. Costa Rica take fewer shots than any other side. They will shoot whenever a chance arises – especially Campbell
  1. Costa Rica are extremely adaptable depending on opponent. They can switch play to both sides of the pitch. They can defend both deep and high.
  1. When opponents run at them directly in centre of pitch they defend the box very narrowly. They leave wider channels in the box open. With better pass choices their opponents should have done better in these situations:


7.   They are susceptible to a pass in behind defenders when play switches speed quickly from slow to direct:


For more on Costa Rica’s passing see @11tegen11 timeline on Twitter. You can also follow me there @footballfactman.



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