Costa Rica will hope for a tighter defensive performance when they take on El Salvador in what will be a crucial day in terms of the cosmetics of Group B in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Paulo Wanchope’s men looked uncertain at the back in their group-opening 2-2 draw with Jamaica, with stand-in goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado under plenty of pressure in the absence of number one Keylor Navas, who is sidelined with an Achilles injury.
El Salvador packed plenty of potency up forward without the finish required to get past Canada, and were spared from defeat by a shocking Cyle Larin miss as they earned a 0-0 draw.
The Costa Ricans are in a rut in 2015 – without a win despite having led in their past three internationals against Spain, Mexico and Jamaica.
El Salvador are similarly struggling for wins, having only beaten St Kitts and Nevis in a World Cup qualifier this year, but Albert Roca’s men are on an upward spiral under the former Barcelona assistant.
Roca said after their draw to Canada that he was satisfied but declared their upcoming opponents as their toughest in the group phase.
“We are competitive. We had more chances than the opponent but could not convert them,” Roca said, ahead of Saturday’s clash in Houston.
“Costa Rica is still the favourite of the group. Canada was not at all an easy opponent.”
The result could be detrimental to either nation’s progress to the quarter-finals, after both Group B matches were drawn on Wednesday – leaving the standings evenly poised with all teams on one point.
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