Jorge Luis Pinto’s pre-match pep talk for Costa Rica’s World Cup clash against Italy was arguably already done thanks to Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
Despite impressing against Uruguay in their first match, beating the South Americans 3-1, many pundits including Mourinho felt that such a shock could not be repeated,
The self-proclaimed Special One has been on World Cup punditry duties this summer, and the Blues boss felt confident of an Italian victory.
“Costa Rica have already gotten a surprise result and they’re unlikely to do it a second time. Joel Campbell’s talent isn’t new, just as the tactical system they use isn’t either, nor the way in which they press forward. It would be a tremendous surprise if Italy do not win this game, the Chelsea boss said, quoted by Forza Italian Football.
With that in mind, Costa Rica needed little motivation in proving their doubters wrong and their hunger and desire to beat the Azzurri was on show for all to see.
Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz grabbed the only goal of the game at the end of the first-half, and following the jubilant celebrations which greeted the full-time whistle, Pinto reminded the press of Mourinho’s words.
“Mourinho, one of my idols, said that we weren’t going to surprise twice. He can’t say that, because above all, there are possibly another three of four games in us yet,” he was quoted as saying by Mundo Deportivo.
Costa Rica’s victory over Italy meant that the Central American outfit will advance to the last-16 for the first time in 24 years.
Only a point against England is needed for them to progress as group winners, and they will likely face either Colombia or Ivory Coast in the next round.