RECIFE: Coach Jorge Luis Pinto fought to maintain Costa Rica’s underdog status as they prepare to face Greece in the last 16 today.
The Central Americans upset the odds in Group D by remaining unbeaten against three former world champions to top the pool and earn a second round meeting with the Group C runners-up.
But although Pinto is happy to have put Costa Rica back on the footballing map for the first time since they last made the knock-out rounds at a World Cup, in Italy 1990, he insisted it would be amiss to start viewing ‘Los Ticos’ as favourites.
“Now everyone knows Costa Rica, they know what we’re capable of,” said the 61-year-old Colombian.
“I don’t know if we want to be favourites. We don’t feel like favourites. We’ll give it our all.
“Our results have given us confidence and stability, they demonstrate what we’re worth.
“We’re well prepared physically and we’ll give our all, with the same respect that we confronted the three world champions.”
They caused a stir in the pool phase, beating Uruguay 3-1 and Italy 1-0 before holding England to a 0-0 draw in a group in which many thought they would provide nothing but cannon fodder.AFP