MONTERREY, Mexico – The Mexican national soccer team plays Costa Rica this week in a friendly, hoping to bounce back from losses against Uruguay and the United States last month.
The teams will meet on Thursday in the northern industrial city of Monterrey, where they will play the first of several matches leading up to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Both Mexico and Costa Rica have set a goal of advancing to at least the quarterfinals at the next World Cup.
The teams are led by interim coaches, with Brazilian Ricardo Ferretti at the helm of Mexico’s squad and Ronald Gonzalez in charge of the Central American team.
Costa Rica is playing with its next coach, Uruguayan Gustavo Matosas, watching from the stands.
Matosas, who just got the job, will face his first challenge in leading Costa Rica in the 2019 Copa Oro tournament.
“Regardless of the fact that the new coach will be in the stands, I always go out to win and give everything I have, everybody has their style of play and knows what to do on the field, I feel like nothing’s changed,” Costa Rican defender Giancarlo Gonzalez said.
Ferretti has several solid players on his roster, including forward Hirving Lozano, of PSV Eindhoven; winger Marco Fabian, of Frankfurt; and defender Diego Reyes, of Turkey’s Fenerbahce.
The interim Mexican national team coach added some promising young players, such as goalkeeper Raul Gudiño, winger Jonathan Gonzalez and forward Roberto Alvarado to the squad.
In September, Mexico was beaten by Uruguay 4-1 and lost to the United States by a score of 1-0 in friendlies.
Mexico and Costa Rica will play at Monterrey’s Universitario Stadium, the home of the Liga MX UANL.
Next week, Mexico plays Chile in a friendly, while Costa Rica will take on Colombia.