Costa Rica fighting fit and ready for Brazil
Costa Rica 1 Parks (86)
Turkey 1 Emre (56)
Referee: C Codjia (Benin). Attendance: 42,299
RONALDO, Rivaldo and Robert Carlos may be the most frightening collective force in this World Cup, but Costa Rica are hoping Brazil field their strongest possible side when they meet on Thursday.
The Central Americans need a point after drawing with Turkey yesterday in a match that descended into an ugly melee, and the last thing Costa Rica’s Paulo Wanchope wants is for Brazil, who have already qualified from Group C, to field a team of hopefuls anxious to make a name for themselves.
Manchester City striker Wanchope said: "I would prefer that everyone plays - Ronaldo, Rivaldo and all the others. If other people come in they will want to prove to their manager that they can play."
Costa Rica were four minutes from defeat against Turkey when substitute Winston Parks, the 20-year-old Udinese striker, latched onto a move engineered by Wanchope and Hernan Medford to equalise.
Turkey had been leading through an excellent individual goal by Emre Belozoglu.
Yildiray Basturk, the Bayern Leverkusen midfielder, said late goals - Turkey also lost to Brazil in the dying minutes - had cost his side dear.
"If games only lasted 86 minutes we would be in the second round. But they last 90 and that’s twice now we have conceded goals so late," he said.
"We seem to lose concentration right at the end and that has been a problem for us. Now we must beat China and hope that Brazil will not take it easy against Costa Rica."
The match as a whole did not really catch fire until the last ten minutes. Costa Rica had started brightly, Wanchope volleying a bouncing ball a yard over the bar and Walter Centeno blasting over when in the clear, but Turkey’s Hasan Sas and Hakan Sukur looked a bigger threat.
Sas in particular had real verve and he helped create Turkey’s goal, chesting the ball down to Emre on the edge of the area. The little midfielder feinted to shoot, cut into the box and though Gilberto Martinez managed to block his first effort, he tucked the rebound past Erick Lonnis at the near post.
After two awful misses by Wilmer Lopez and Mauricio Solis, Parks came on, and his pace provided a real threat up front.
The equaliser came when Wanchope headed on a long ball, Medford managed to hook it back across goal and Parks finished superbly.
Turkey’s goalscorer Emre then provoked ugly scenes when he pushed a Costa Rican team official who was holding the ball after Turkey was awarded a throw-in.
Dozens of people from both benches became involved and Emre was fortunate to escape with a booking when the dust settled.
He may yet face the wrath of FIFA, however, if the fourth official points the finger of blame and the matter is mentioned in the referee’s report.
Costa Rica: Lonnis, Marin, Wright, Martinez, Castro, Solis, Lopez (Parks 77), Wallace (Bryce 77), Centeno (Medford 66), Gomez, Wanchope. Subs not used: Chinchilla, Cordero, Drummond, Fonseca, Mesen, Morgan, Rodriguez, Sunsing, Vallejos.
Turkey: Rustu, Asik, Akyel, Ergun, Ozat, Davala, Tugay (Erdem 88), Basturk (Nihat 79), Emre, Sas, Sukur (Mansiz 74). Subs not used: Abdullah, Alpay, Izzet, Korkmaz, Okan, Omer, Tayfur, Unsal, Zafer.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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