International Friendlies
Costa Rica3Northern Ireland0

World Cup 2018

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Highlights: Northern Ireland fall to Costa Rica defeat

Northern Ireland completed their Central American tour with a defeat by World Cup-bound Costa Rica in San Jose.

Liam Boyce lobbed wide for Michael O'Neill's men before the hosts seized control in sweltering conditions.

Johan Venegas nodded in the opener and Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell slotted home to make it 2-0 before a Francisco Calvo header sealed the victory.

The pacy Costa Ricans take on England at Elland Road on Thursday night.

Northern Ireland impressed in a scoreless draw against Panama on Monday but found the 2014 World Cup quarter-finalists a tougher proposition.

Boyce's early chance and a second-half strike from Corry Evans, which flew just over, were the only openings created in a disappointing display.

Midfield missing

Northern Ireland boss O'Neill experimented against Panama by trying out tour captain Jonny Evans in a central midfield role.

It worked in Panama City but the West Brom man had little impact six days later alongside his brother Corry and Paddy McNair in a midfield three.

Evans, who along with Sunderland's McNair is linked with a quick return to the Premier League, will likely revert to central defence when Steven Davis, Oliver Norwood and George Saville return to the squad.

Northern Ireland striker Liam Boyce threatens in the opening minutes before going off injured
Northern Ireland striker Liam Boyce threatens in the opening minutes before going off injured

Veteran defender Aaron Hughes struggled in the San Jose heat and his 112th cap could be his last as considers his international future.

And there was disappointment for Crusaders winger Gavin Whyte, who was among five uncapped players to go on tour and the only one not to make their debut.

Man-of-the-match - Joel Campbell (Costa Rica)

Campbell may not have shone during his time with Arsenal, but he turned on the style for Costa Rica on Sunday.

The speedy forward, currently on loan at Real Betis, was a constant threat on the right and cutting in onto his favoured left foot.

A composed finish for the second goal a minute into the second half was followed by his pinpoint inswinging corner which was glanced in by substitute Calvo.

Wing-backs Bryan Oviedo and Cristain Gamboa impressed going forward while the busy Vegas set Costa Rica on their way with a close-range header at the backpost from a Giancarlo Gonzales flick-on after 30 minutes.

What next?

Los Ticos travel across the Atlantic for their encounter in Leeds against Gareth Southgate's England side.

Costa Rica topped a World Cup group including England, Italy and Uruguay before progressing to the last eight in Brazil four years ago.

Joel Campbell wheels in celebration after scoring while there's disappointment for NI keeper Trevor Carson
Joel Campbell wheels in celebration after scoring while there's disappointment for NI keeper Trevor Carson

Oscar Ramirez's side take on Belgium in their final warm-up game before the action in Russia starts with a Group E game against Serbia in Samarra on 17 June.

Northern Ireland missed out on the World Cup finals and they have a summer break before facing Bosnia and Herzegovina in Belfast on 8 September in the first of four Uefa Nations Cup matches.

What they said

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill: "It was was a tough game. We knew it would be a tough game against a very good side - we're disappointed to lose two goals off corners because it is not in character for us to do so.

"It was a good experience particularly for our young players in the second half. To experience the atmosphere which was fantastic and to also play against this level of opposition.

"The senior players we had were excellent and some of the younger players, it's their first taste of international football against a very experienced and good technical team as well.

"It wasn't just the weather. There is a technical difference in the teams. There are some very good technical players in the Costa Rica team."

Line-ups

Costa Rica

  • 1NavasSubstituted forMoreiraat 35'minutes
  • 16GamboaSubstituted forSmithat 64'minutes
  • 2Acosta
  • 3GonzálezSubstituted forWastonat 73'minutes
  • 6DuarteSubstituted forCalvoat 45'minutes
  • 8Oviedo
  • 12Campbell
  • 5BorgesSubstituted forTejedaat 64'minutes
  • 20Guzmán
  • 9Colindres
  • 11VenegasSubstituted forMatarritaat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Smith
  • 10Ruiz
  • 13Wallace
  • 14Azofeifa
  • 15Calvo
  • 17Tejeda
  • 18Pemberton
  • 19Waston
  • 21Ureña
  • 22Matarrita
  • 23Moreira
  • 24Ramírez

Northern Ireland

  • 1CarsonSubstituted forHazardat 73'minutes
  • 6HodsonSubstituted forMcLaughlinat 60'minutes
  • 20CathcartSubstituted forMcCulloughat 73'minutes
  • 4McAuley
  • 18Hughes
  • 5Evans
  • 10BoyceSubstituted forMcCartanat 39'minutes
  • 17McNair
  • 13EvansSubstituted forThompsonat 85'minutes
  • 14Dallas
  • 21MagennisSubstituted forMcLaughlinat 60'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2McLaughlin
  • 3Ferguson
  • 7Whyte
  • 8Smyth
  • 9McCartan
  • 11Lavery
  • 12Peacock-Farrell
  • 15McCullough
  • 16Thompson
  • 19McLaughlin
  • 23Hazard
Referee:
Fernando Guerrero Ramírez
Attendance:
35,100

Match Stats

Home TeamCosta RicaAway TeamNorthern Ireland
Possession
Home64%
Away36%
Shots
Home21
Away3
Shots on Target
Home5
Away0
Corners
Home8
Away0
Fouls
Home10
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Costa Rica 3, Northern Ireland 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Costa Rica 3, Northern Ireland 0.

Bryan Oviedo (Costa Rica) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Shay McCartan (Northern Ireland).

Attempt missed. Joel Campbell (Costa Rica) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Ronald Matarrita.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Jordan Thompson replaces Corry Evans.

Foul by Yeltsin Tejeda (Costa Rica).

Conor McLaughlin (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Hand ball by Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland).

Attempt missed. Daniel Colindres (Costa Rica) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ronald Matarrita.

Attempt missed. Ronald Matarrita (Costa Rica) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by David Guzmán with a cross.

Attempt blocked. Joel Campbell (Costa Rica) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Francisco Calvo.

Attempt blocked. Ronald Matarrita (Costa Rica) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Yeltsin Tejeda.

Foul by Kendall Waston (Costa Rica).

Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Daniel Colindres (Costa Rica) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Gareth McAuley (Northern Ireland).

Attempt missed. Daniel Colindres (Costa Rica) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Ian Smith.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Luke McCullough replaces Craig Cathcart.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Conor Hazard replaces Trevor Carson.

Substitution

Substitution, Costa Rica. Kendall Waston replaces Giancarlo González.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match (Costa Rica).

Attempt missed. Corry Evans (Northern Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Jonny Evans.

Substitution

Substitution, Costa Rica. Ronald Matarrita replaces Johan Venegas.

Goal!

Goal! Costa Rica 3, Northern Ireland 0. Francisco Calvo (Costa Rica) header from the right side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Joel Campbell with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Costa Rica. Conceded by Craig Cathcart.

Attempt blocked. Johan Venegas (Costa Rica) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joel Campbell with a cross.

Johnny Acosta (Costa Rica) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Shay McCartan (Northern Ireland).

Substitution

Substitution, Costa Rica. Yeltsin Tejeda replaces Celso Borges.

Substitution

Substitution, Costa Rica. Ian Smith replaces Cristian Gamboa.

Foul by Bryan Oviedo (Costa Rica).

Ryan McLaughlin (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Conor McLaughlin replaces Lee Hodson.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Ryan McLaughlin replaces Josh Magennis.

Attempt missed. Daniel Colindres (Costa Rica) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Cristian Gamboa with a cross.

Attempt missed. Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Gareth McAuley.

Foul by Daniel Colindres (Costa Rica).

Jonny Evans (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 3rd June 2018

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