Soccer World Cup: La Pura Vida: Will Costa Rica become a German stumbling block?

Touchstone, stumbling block - what kind of opponent does the German national football team expect this Thursday in the Al Bait Stadium? Costa Rica was the last team to make it to the World Cup finals in Qatar.

Soccer World Cup: La Pura Vida: Will Costa Rica become a German stumbling block?

Touchstone, stumbling block - what kind of opponent does the German national football team expect this Thursday in the Al Bait Stadium? Costa Rica was the last team to make it to the World Cup finals in Qatar.

The squad consists primarily of a skeleton of veterans who were part of the sensational rush of the Central Americans to the quarter-finals in Brazil in 2014, including star keeper Keylor Navas, who after the 7-0 loss to Spain in the 1-0 win over Japan could keep his goal clean.

Conspicuous features of the German opponent

Captain at the age of 37 mainly a motivator from the bank: Bryan Ruiz has to live with the reserve role at the World Cup. It's not easy for him, at the end of his career he came to terms with it and came to terms with it. Ruiz is also a helper for the next generation around Jewison Bennette, who is only 18 years old.

Offensive that hasn't been there before

Two games, one goal. After all. However, the number of chances to score in 180 minutes plus a lot of injury time is frightening. None against Spain, four against Japan. Practically nothing worked in the opponent's penalty area, they only created one goal opportunity. "Germany is a team that creates a lot of chances and if we want to beat them, we have to create more," Ruiz told the German Press Agency. The Costa Ricans have not even won a corner so far.

The player with the most passes on the team is absent

Francisco Calvo has played 99 passes so far. This is top in Costa Rica squad. The 30-year-old defensive central midfielder is missing against the German team. Calvo, who joined Turkey from Major League Soccer last summer, has already received two yellow cards and is suspended. He could be replaced by Juan Pablo Vargas, who is under contract with Millonarios in Colombia.

Sprinters and endurance runners

The shooter to 1-0 over the Japanese is also Costa Rica's most sprinting player. According to FIFA statistics, it has been 117 so far. Yeltsin Tejeda has covered the most kilometers with 23.06 kilometers.

The coach and the German experiences

Luis Fernando Suárez has previously played with a team at a World Cup against Germany. You have to know: Suárez, 62 years old, was born in Colombia, but has already trained in Ecuador and Honduras, among other places. With Ecuador, he also met the hosts at the World Cup in Germany, but clearly lost 0:3. Costa Rica played in the same group - and lost 3-0 to Ecuador under Suárez.

The Encourager

Felipe Camacho has been with the side since Suárez took over. He's a psychologist. And he gave the pros along the way: "The person who has no goal does not know where to go." The goal was then set as high as possible, there was even talk of the title, and criticism rained down. That promptly fell silent after the win, which saw Costa Rica keep their chances of progressing.

"The fact that we recovered so quickly from a 7-0 loss in the first game of a World Cup to win the second game shows how strong we are mentally. It wasn't easy. It would have been easier to be down to throw everything overboard. But we kept fighting," said veteran Celso Borges.

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