The national soccer team of Costa Rica was one of the big surprises of the Soccer World Cup 2014 in Brazil and is the most succesful team in Central America.
They reached the quarterfinals unexpectedly after victories over Uruguay and Italy in the group stage and the Central Americans eliminated Greece in the Round of Sixteen. In the quarterfinals of the World Cup 2014, the national team of the Netherlands proved too strong, but the Costa Rican soccer team was only eliminated after the penalty shoot-out.
Please find below interesting facts and figures about the national soccer team of Costa Rica.
First soccer match in Costa Rica was played in 1876
According to historic books, the first soccer match in Costa Rica was played in 1976. Six students who studied in England brought soccer to Costa Rica and on 8 December 1876, the first soccer match was played in La Sabana Park in San Jose.
Costa Rican federation founded in 1921
Club Sport La Union de Tres Rios, Liga Deportiva Alajuelense, Club Sport Cartagines, Club Sport La Libertad, Club Sport Herediano, Sociedad Gimnastica Limonense and Sociedad Gimnastica Espanola de San Jose founded on 13 June 1921 the Liga Nacional de Futbol, to organize and direct soccer in Costa Rica. After centralizing all activities in the 1930 and a couple of name changes, the federation is nowadays known as Federacion Costarricense de Futbol (FEDEFUTBOL or FEDEFUT).
Most successful soccer team in Central America
The Costa Rican federation is since 1927 member of the FIFA, the world soccer federation.
Costa Rica is the most successful soccer team in the history of Central America. They are the only Central American team that played in four World Cups.
The Costa Rican soccer team won seven times the championship of Central America (Copa Centroamericana). They won the tournament in 1991, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2013. Furthermore, Costa Rica was the strongest team during the CONCACAF Championship & Gold Cup tournaments in 1963, 1969 and 1989. Since 1997, the Costa Rican national team also participates in the Copa America and their best result until now, is reaching the Round of Eight (2001 and 2004).
Costa Rica at the World Cup Soccer
In 1990, they made their first appearance at the World Cup and after that, they made another three appearances (2002, 2006 and 2014).
Juan Cayasso was the first Costa Rican player to score at a World Cup, the soccer player scored during the group match against Scotland. During that World Cup tournament in Italy, the Costa Rican team qualified for the second phase of the tournament. A remarkable fact: in 1990 and 2014, Costa Rica qualified for the Round of Sixteen on the same date, 20 June. They were eliminated during the group match phase in 2002 and 2006.
In 2014, they achieved their best result by reaching the quarter finals of the most prestigious soccer of the world. They were eliminated by The Netherlands after penalty-shoot outs.
(Sources: ticotimes, Wiki)