Our prediction for this Gold Cup match:
Costa Rica will be aiming to retain top position in Group C when they face Suriname at Exploria Stadium on Saturday morning. Los Ticos faced no difficulties in a 3-1 win over Guadeloupe, with Joel Campbell scoring his 20th goal for the national team. Costa Rica aim to give fans yet another reason for celebration, but head coach Luis Suarez must warn his men against complacency.
Suriname, on the other hand, failed to impress in a 2-0 loss to Jamaica, and it is no wonder the bookies see them as underdogs in Saturday’s clash. Veteran midfielder Bryan Ruiz should keep his place in the starting XI, as well as winger Ariel Lassiter, who found the net in the 2021 Gold Cup opener. A man to keep an eye on in the home team will be Derby County forward Florian Jozefzoon, who has four caps for the Suriname national football team.
Highlighted Player (Keylor Navas):
Keylor Navas is an exceptionally gifted goal keeper who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Costa Rica national team. The 29-year-old rose through the youth ranks at Saprissa before making his professional bow with them in 2005.
After a successful stint with them, he ventured into Spanish football with a move to Albacete and then to Levante. His exploits at Levante earned him a move to Real Madrid where he quickly established as a first-team regular. Despite coming within seconds of moving away from the club to accommodate David de Gea, Navas became a crowd favorite with outstanding displays in 2015-16 season.
Navas has played over 60 games for Costa Rica having made his debut in 2008. He has represented them at the 2014 FIFA World Cup where Costa Rica were a losing quarter-finalists. Their progress in the tournament is largely attributed to the success of Navas under the sticks.
Highlighted Team (Costa Rica):
Los Ticos are administered by the Costa Rican Football Federation and are members of the CONCACAF confederation competing at the international stage since 1921, although it was not until 1927 that they had become the FIFA members.
Costa Rica is the most successful national football team in the history of Central America with eight championships and their decorated reputation was upheld in 2014 when the current Central American champions made an imposing impression during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Having reached the quarter-finals, Costa Ricans continue to be a thorn in the side for a many bigger soccer nations.
Alvaro Saborio is the most-capped member of the current team captained by Bryan Ruiz, but the most prominent star of the squad is definitely Real Madrid goalkeeper and 2016 Champions League winner Keylor Navas. Arsenal forward Joel Campbell is also a notable player whose 2014 FIFA World Cup performances have been nothing short of impressive.