49 days to go: Costa Rica make their mark

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is getting closer – 49 days to go!

In less than two months’ time – on 14 June, to be precise – the 21st FIFA World Cup™ kicks off at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, as the hosts take on Saudi Arabia.​

That leaves us plenty of time to enjoy a countdown. Between now and the start of the World Cup, we will take a closer look at a different statistic from the history of the tournament each day.​​

49 Costa Rica’s bold performances at the 1990 FIFA World Cup Italy™ live long in the memory. Los Ticos caused a stir and added a welcome dash of colour at a tournament that was largely characterised by tactical discipline and exemplary defending, reaching the Round of 16 in their maiden finals appearance.

In the 49th minute of their opening group match against Scotland, Juan Cayasso scored the only goal of the game to give Costa Rica their first World Cup victory.

“We went there as rank outsiders without any kind of experience at a major international tournament,” recalled goalkeeper Luis Gabelo Conejo. “Suddenly we were up against Brazil, Scotland and Sweden; teams with a much deeper history in the game than us. However, our European coach Bora Milutinovic already had many years of experience and knew that we could achieve something. On top of that, he was a superb motivator. He made us aware that playing at a World Cup was a unique opportunity and that we therefore always needed to keep our ultimate goal in mind.”