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Soccer-Costa Rica World Cup draw factbox

Reuters

SAN JOSE, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Factbox on World Cup qualifiers

Costa Rica:

Form and Prospects:

Costa Rica, who are heading for their fourth World Cup, are

an unpredictable outfit who can play slick, attacking football

on a good day and look utterly toothless when short of

confidence.

Having missed out on South Africa in 2010, the Ticos cruised

through the CONCACAF qualifying tournament this time, beating

Mexico and the United States at home in the process and

qualifying with two games to spare.

However, they travel poorly and did not manage a single away

win in the final six-team stage of the CONCACAF qualifiers, even

being held 1-1 by bottom-of-the-table Jamaica.

The team has a more cosmopolitan outlook than in 2006 with

players based in Spain, Germany, England, Greece, Norway,

Denmark, Sweden at the United States.

Key players include Real Salt Lake City striker Alvaro

Saborio, a classy if inconsistent finisher who was their top

scorer in the qualifying campaign, Fulham's Bryan Ruiz, young

striker Joel Campbell and goalkeeper Keylor Nevas.

If Costa Rica can get off to a good confidence-building

start, they could emulate their achievement in 1990 when they

reached the round of sixteen. Otherwise, they face a third

successive group stage exit.

Coach: Jorge Luis Pinto

Pinto, 60, is in his second stint as Costa Rica's national

coach after being fired following his first appointment in

2004-05. The team qualified for the 2006 World Cup after he was

replaced.

He also served as coach of the national team in his native

Colombia from 2007-08 but was sacked during the qualifying

campaign for the 2010 World Cup which they failed to reach.

Pinto, nicknamed the Explosive One for his touchline

tantrums and once banned for 10 games for pushing a fourth

official, has been hugely successful at club level, winning

first division titles in Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru and

Venezuela.

He was reinstated as Costa Rica coach in 2011 and safely

navigated their way through the qualifiers to finish second

overall in the final CONCACAF standings.

Key player: Joel Campbell

The 21-year-old Olympiakos forward is a speedy attacker, who

plays either striker or wing, Campbell was signed by Arsenal

when he was a teenager but has yet to play for the English

Premier League side after initially being refused a visa.

Instead, he has spent the past three seasons on loan in

France, Spain and now Greece.

He made his international debut for Costa Rica at the 2011

CONCACAF Gold Cup and has scored eight goals in 28 appearances.

Campbell played a crucial role during the qualifying

campaign, scoring three goals, including one in Costa Rica's

crucial win over the United States.

How they qualified: CONCACAF Final round: 2nd place

Round One: bye

Round Two: bye

Round Three:

2012

June 8 El Salvador H D 2-2 Saborio, Campbell

June 12 Guyana A W 4-0 Saborio (3), Campbell

Sept 7 Mexico H L 0-2

Sept 11 Mexico A L 0-1

Oct 12 El Salvador A W 1-0 Cubero

Oct 16 Guyana H W 7-0 Brenes (2), Gamboa,

Saborio (2, pen),

Bolanos, Borges

Final round:

2013

Feb 6 Panama A D 2-2 Saborio, Ruiz

Mar 22 United States A L 0-1

Mar 26 Jamaica H W 2-0 Umana, Calvo

June 7 Honduras H W 1-0 Miller

June 11 Mexico A D 0-0

June 18 Panama H W 2-0 Ruiz, Borges

Sept 6 United States H W 3-1 Acosta, Borges,

Campbell

Sept 10 Jamaica A D 1-1 Brenes

Oct 11 Honduras A L 0-1

Oct 15 Mexico H W 2-1 Ruiz, Saborio

World Cup record:

Previous appearances in finals: Three (1990, 2002, 2006)

Best performance: Round of 16 (1990)

William Hill odds to win World Cup (Nov 2013): 1500-1

(Compiled by by Julian Linden; Editing by Mike Collett)

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