FIFA Women's World Cup 70 Day Countdown: Day 6 - Costa Rica Snapshot

As we enter day six of Edge of the Crowd’s electrifying 70-day countdown to the highly anticipated 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, we’re diving headfirst into a whirlwind tour of the fierce and fabulous teams gracing this year’s tournament.

Join us on this journey as we dish out the inside scoop on each squad's strengths, weaknesses, players to keep an eye on and what a pass mark might be for each nation.

Next up, is Group C team, Costa Rica.

FIFA Women's World Cup appearances: 1 (2015)

Best performance at a FIFA Women's World Cup: 2015 (Group Stage)

Players to watch

One of the youngest players in Costa Rica's squad, 21-year-old Priscilla Chinchilla is also one of the most exciting prospects in women's football. The World Cup debutant already has 45 international caps since making her debut in 2018, scoring 20 goals in that time. Her natural goalscoring ability has also seen her score 44 times in 81 matches for Glasgow City FC in the SWPL 1. Costa Rica will look to her for goals, to take the pressure off the older heads of the lineup.

Katherine Alvarado was 24 years old when she made her World Cup debut for Costa Rica in 2015. Going into that tournament, she had 47 caps and 18 goals and was playing for local club, Deportivo Saprissa. Eight years on and after playing in Spain too, the now-vice-captain has the most caps of any Costa Rican at the World Cup (127) and can get on the scoresheet too. Alvarado will be an integral part of the lineup in the midfield and will be leading the team alongside captain Shelby Cruz.

Costa Rica's first-ever World Cup goalscorer, Raquel Rodriguez will be out to continue her own ability to score. Having celebrated her 100th game for Costa Rica in February, the now-29-year-old has gone from strength to strength since the 2015 World Cup - and kept her goalscoring capabilities up for the national side, and the Portland Thorns in the NWSL - where she scored in their NSWL Championship win last season. She currently averages 0.55 goals a game for the national side, and will be required to fire some shots into the net come July.

2023 form

Costa Rica has not yet won a game in 2023. In five games, the side has come away with three losses and two draws and in the past three games, have scored one goal to its opponent's combined seven.

The most recent World Cup friendlies saw Costa Rica come up against Poland, going down 2-1 - with Rodrigeuz scoring -, and 4-0 to Scotland.

Before that, Costa Rica was invited to Mexico for the Women's Revelations Cup where the team finished in fourth place (out of four) following 1-1 draws to Colombia and Mexico to begin, before a 1-0 loss to NIgeria. Chinchilla was the only Costa Rican to find the back of the net (the team's goal against Mexico was an own goal).

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths: Costa Rica's greatest strength lies in the midfield. Boasting international names such as captain Cruz, Alvarado, and Chinchilla, their work in the middle on the attack will be crucial to getting chances going forward. Each of the aforementioned players are tough to challenge on the field, and when they can find open space, there's no shortage of goal-scoring capabilities from them either.

Weaknesses: Finding the back of the net has been a concern for Las Ticas in recent matches, and so too, the wins. With just one win in their last 14 matches (a 2-1 come-from-behind win against The Philippines) in October, the team's form coming into the World Cup is a great concern.

Within the last 14 matches, Costa Rica has also only scored six goals (that includes an own goal), compared to a combined 25 against. The five goals by Costa Ricans were scored by three players, including two to Priscilla Chinchilla and Raquel Rodriguez (including one penalty).

With games against football heavyweights in Spain and Japan first-up, Costa Rica will need to pull something together in preparation for the World Cup in training and on gameday, or could be out of contention early, based on recent form.

Pass mark

Having recorded two draws and a loss in its last FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015, it won't be as easy this time around. In saying that, Costa Rica should be aiming for at least one win from its group stage match-ups, and to score in at least two fixtures.

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