The Costa Rica national football team made its first FIFA World Cup appearance in 1990 after failing to qualify in its previous eight tries from 1958 to 1986. It would fail to reach the World Cup again until 2002 and 2006, each time being eliminated from the group stage.
Costa Rica had the best World Cup run in its history in 2014 when it won its group and advanced into the quarterfinals with a win over Greece. The national soccer team will try to build on that solid run with another good one in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Costa Rica’s Odds to Win World Cup: +30000
Two-thirds of the teams participating in this year’s tournament sit ahead of Costa Rica on the World Cup betting futures board. Costa Rica is going off at +30000 to win the World Cup, being given the same odds to do so as Australia. Only six teams participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup are bigger underdogs than Costa Rica and Australia to win it.
Part of the problem for Costa Rica’s World Cup dreams is its group draw. Sitting in a group with Brazil, one of the favorites to win the World Cup at +450, just escaping the group will be a big uphill battle for the Costa Ricans.
Costa Rica’s Odds to Win Group E: +2500
Brazil is the biggest favorite on the board among all of the group favorites to win its group, paying -350 to win Group E. With Brazil expected to run away with the group, Switzerland (+600 to win Group E) and Serbia (+700) are projected to battle it out for the remaining spot into the Round of 16.
These projections leave Costa Rica on the outside looking in. Expected to be the weakest team in the group, Costa Rica is a huge underdog at +2500 to emerge as the top team in Group E. A bet on Costa Rica to advance into the Round of 16 would pay +400 while a bet for the team to be eliminated in the group stage pays -650.
Costa Rica’s Best World Cup Bets
Expecting much success from Costa Rica in the World Cup this year is ambitious. Costa Rica qualified thanks largely to four wins over the two weakest teams in its qualifying group, and there is no such weakness in Group E. No bettor would be blamed for looking to fade Costa Rica in the group stage, especially against Brazil. Brazil is a -425 moneyline favorite in its game against Costa Rica (+1300 to win, +525 to draw) and a -140 favorite on the -1.5 line.
Bettors who are high on Costa Rica or reluctant to fade them should consider potential value in draw bets against Serbia and Switzerland. Costa Rica is a +345 underdog to beat Switzerland (-135) with draw odds of +235, and a +290 underdog facing Serbia (+100) with draw odds of +240. The team’s best result in the group stage was a 1-1 draw against talented Mexico, one of four draws that Costa Rica produced in 10 qualifying matches. Stealing a point against Serbia or Switzerland is certainly a possibility for the Costa Ricans.
Costa Rica’s Player to Watch: Bryan Ruiz
Attacking midfielder Bryan Ruiz is the current captain of this Costa Rica squad and is also one of the team’s most dangerous players. Ruiz has 23 goals in 109 caps for the national team and currently plays his club soccer for Sporting PC in Portugal.
Ruiz played a monumental role in Costa Rica’s run to the quarterfinals in 2014. The 32-year-old scored the only goal of Costa Rica’s shocking 1-0 win over Italy in the group stage that sent the team into the Round of 16, where he also scored the team’s only goal in a 1-1 game against Greece. Ruiz converted on his penalty attempt as Costa Rica advanced with a 5-3 win in penalties.
Costa Rica’s Road to Russia
Costa Rica played its way into the FIFA World Cup qualification CONCACAF Fifth Round, referred to as the Hexigonal in this part of the world. It was in this round that the United States was shockingly eliminated from World Cup contention.
The Costa Ricans handed the United States two of their four losses in this round. Costa Rica lost only two games in total en route to a 4-4-2 record, taking advantage of the weakness of the United States and Trinidad and Tobago with four wins against these two teams, earning all 12 of a possible 12 points from them.
Since its last win over the United States, Costa Rica is just 1-2-4 over its last seven international games heading into June.
|1||Keylor Navas||GK||Real Madrid||79|
|18||Patrick Pemberton||GK||LD Alajuelense||39|
|23||Leonel Moreira||GK||CS Herediano||9|
|2||Johnny Acosta||DEF||Rionegro Águilas||68|
|4||Ian Smith||DEF||IFK Norrköping||2|
|15||Francisco Calvo||DEF||Minnesota United||36|
|22||Rónald Matarrita||DEF||New York City FC||22|
|5||Celso Borges||MID||Deportivo La Coruña||111|
|7||Christian Bolaños||MID||Deportivo Saprissa||79|
|13||Rodney Wallace||MID||New York City FC||30|
|14||Randall Azofeifa||MID||CS Herediano||57|
|9||Daniel Colindres||FWD||Deportivo Saprissa||11|
|11||Johan Venegas||FWD||Deportivo Saprissa||45|
|21||Marco Ureña||FWD||Los Angeles FC||62|