Costa Rica preparing for maiden clash with Socceroos

The Costa Rica national football team, affectionately referred to as La Sele or Los Ticos, are set to meet the Socceroos for the first time next month.

The Costa Rica national football team, affectionately referred to as La Sele or Los Ticos, will meet the Socceroos in an international for the first time next month. Like Australia, the Central Americans have already booked their place in next year-s World Cup. They have also qualified for the tournament on four occasions in their history, making them the most successful nation in Central America.

Currently ranked 31st in the world, the Costa Ricans secured their passage to Brazil on the back of their strong home form in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying. They finished second behind the USA, following victories on home soil against every other nation in the group. These wins against Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama and the US meant the Ticos were practising their samba with two games in hand.

The Costa Ricans have a proud football history, having debuted on the international stage in 1921 at the Independence Centenary Games. They defeated El Salvador 7-0 in their first ever match and went on to win the tournament. The Ticos have reached a highest ever world ranking of 17 and their best performance at a World Cup was in their first appearance, when they reached the round of 16 at Italy 1990.

The Costa Ricans are currently managed by Colombian Jorge Luis, who has taken charge of the national team since September 2011. The Ticos have a couple of players in their current squad of Premier League pedigree, with star striker Bryan Ruiz and defender Bryan Oviedo playing for Fulham and Everton respectively.

Other players to watch when the Socceroos host the Costa Ricans in Sydney next month is 21-year-old Olympiakos frontman Joel Campbell and the experienced Alvaro Saborio, who has scored 31 goals in his 92 appearances for the national team.

Of course two other players who will be hoping to force their way into the reckoning for the match are Wellington Phoenix-s Carlos Hernandez and Kenny Cunningham. Cunningham has shown signs of his scintillating pace since moving to the Hyundai A-League. Meanwhile Hernandez was unlucky not to score in the weekend-s goalless draw with the Jets when one of his trademark long range bullets cannoned off the crossbar.

It all points to an intriguing battle, in what will be new Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou-s first match in charge of our national team.

Upcoming Match Details

Socceroos v Costa Rica Tuesday 19 November 2013 Allianz Stadium, Sydney, Australia Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT

The match between the Socceroos and Costa Rica will be broadcast live and exclusive on FOX SPORTS.


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