Costa Rica - Odds to Win 2014 FIFA World Cup

Costa Rica has a great defense, but their have big issues on offense and they are in one of the tougher groups. They were solid in qualifying, but have a tall task progressing out of the group stage facing England, Italy, and Uruguay.

Maybe the biggest reason that Costa Rica is the biggest betting long shot, according to Bet365, is that they are not great at holding onto the ball. That is really not good since that both England and Italy are solid in that aspect of the game.

Costa Rica Odds to win World Cup 2014: +150000
Costa Rica Odds to win Group D: +5000

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How They Advanced:

Costa Rica finished second in CONCACAF "Hex" qualifying with 18 points. They did so because of a defense that went 476 minutes in qualifying without conceding a goal. That streak began on March sixth of 2013 and did not come to an end until September sixth of the same year. They only scored more than one goal in three of 10 qualifying matches, but their last one was a solid 2-1 win over Mexico. Their highlight in qualifying had to be their 3-1 home win over the United States.

Early Prediction:

Not good. Yeah, Costa Rica has the defense, but can they score? I would say no. Their leading goal scorer in qualifying was Bryan Ruiz, who runs very hot and cold and led the club in scoring with only three goals in the qualifying process.  They are out-matched in the midfield by every team in the group, especially by England and France.

Costa Rica has not won a World Cup group stage match since 2002 and that drought will continue. With their defense I would not rule out one draw, but they will still finish last in the group.

Qualifying Results:

07/02/13 Panama 2 – 2 Costa Rica                    
23/03/13 United States 1 – 0 Costa Rica           
27/03/13 Costa Rica 2 - 0   Jamaica                   
08/06/13 Costa Rica 1 – 0 Honduras                 
12/06/13 Mexico 0 – 0 Costa Rica                      
19/06/13 Costa Rica 2 – 0 Panama                    
07/09/13 Costa Rica 3 – 1 United States           
11/09/13 Jamaica 1 – 1 Costa Rica                    
11/10/13 Honduras 1 – 0 Costa Rica                 
16/10/13 Costa Rica 2 – 1 Mexico

Costa Rica Key Players

Bryan Ruiz FW Fulham – Ruiz can be a dazzling player, but can also disappear at times.

Bryan Oviedo DF Everton – Key to the defense of the squad.

Joel Campbell FW Arsenal, on loan at Olympiakos – Will have to take the offensive pressure off Ruiz.

Past World Cup Results:

2010 Did not advance with 1 win, 1 draw, and 1 loss
2006 Finished last in group with three losses
2002 Last in group stage

Costa Rica World Cup Schedule:

14/06/14 Uruguay vs. Costa Rica - Estadio Castelão 
20/06/14 Italy vs. Costa Rica - Arena Pernambuco     
24/06/14 Costa Rica vs. England - Estadio Mineirão   

Costa Rica World Cup Roster