Costa Rica

Costa Rica national football team logo
Costa Rica Football Team

World Cup Participation

1990, 2002, 2006, 2014, 2018, 2022

Championships:

None

Team Information

Costa Rica Soccer Team History

Costa Rica’s first-ever match was a 7-0 win against  El Salvador in the 1921 Independence Centenary Games. The Costa Rica national football team later won 6-0 against Guatemala to win their first title. Los Ticos finished runners-up in the World Cup, qualifying to Mexico in 1958, 1962 and 1966 but not quite getting over the hump.

They did, however, win the first edition of the CONCACAF Championship in 1963. Juan Gonzales scored four goals in six matches, as the Costa Rican national football team won their first major trophy.

Italy ’90: First FIFA World Cup Appearance 

Los Ticos also won in 1969 and 1989, and the latter meant it was the first Costa Rica FIFA World Cup appearance. A bunch of the Costa Rican players were non-professional and had other jobs, but that didn’t stop them from doing well at Italy 1990.

In their first-ever FIFA World Cup match, Costa Rica national football team defeated Scotland 1-0 with a goal from Juan Cayasso. Los Ticos (also known as La Sele) played Brazil close in the next match but ultimately fell 1-0. Needing a win to secure knockout stage qualification, Costa Rica fell behind to Sweden in the first half of their next match. Second half goals from Roger Flores and Hernan Medford sealed an enormously significant comeback victory.

In the knockout stage, Costa Rica lost 4-1 to Czechoslovakia but performed well in their first World Cup. Los Ticos didn’t return to soccer’s most prestigious international tournament until 2002 and finished first in CONCACAF qualifying. Costa Rica started off the 2022 World Cup with a 2-0 win against China and later managed a 1-1 draw against Turkey. With a 5-2 loss to Brazil in the closer, La Sele  were eliminated on goal difference.

FIFA World Cup - Betting News

Four years later, at Germany 2006, Costa Rica lost all three matches for consecutive group stage eliminations. Los Ticos lost the intercontinental qualifying playoff for the 2010 World Cup versus Uruguay, missing out for the first time since 1998.

Brazil 2014 World Cup: A Whirlwind Performance

The Costa Rican national football team returned to the World Cup in 2014 and put on an amazing performance. With all their small-scale World Cup experience, they were placed in a group considered a “group of death” -topped by England, Italy, and Uruguay- for their second knockout stage appearances. With a win in penalties against Greece, Costa Rica made the quarterfinals for the first time, accomplishing the unexpected. However, running out of luck, La Sele (Los Ticos) fell before the Netherlands in PKs, following a scoreless draw.

Finishing at the bottom of their group at the 2018 World Cup, Costa Rica failed to reach the same heights as 2014. It looked like Los Ticos would miss out on the World Cup in 2022, taking just six points from their first seven qualifiers. However, they amassed an impressive 18 points in the final seven to advance to the intercontinental playoff against  New Zealand. Joel Campbell’s early goal was enough for Costa Rica to secure a third straight World Cup berth.

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