Road to Qatar: how Costa Rica qualified for World Cup 2022

A look at how the Central American country sealed their spot at the finals

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Costa Rica became the 32nd and final country to qualify for the World Cup finals in Qatar after beating New Zealand in an inter-confederation play-off.

An early goal from experienced attacker Joel Campbell proved the difference between the two teams at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Qatar that brought a successful conclusion to what been a slow starting campaign for Luis Fernando Suarez's side.

The Costa Ricans managed just one win in their first seven Concacaf qualification matches leaving their hopes of reaching Qatar hanging by a thread. But then six victories from their final seven fixtures saw them secure fourth place behind the United States, Mexico and Canada – and the play-off clash with New Zealand.

“This squad shows what it is like to be Costa Rican. They never quit, they always give 100 per cent,” said Colombian-born coach Suarez, who secured his own World Cup hat-trick after previously taking Ecuador to Germany 2006 and leading Honduras to Brazil 2014. “It is an obsession that I always pursued. To be in this position is beautiful,” he added.

In Qatar, Costa Rica have been drawn in Group E alongside Spain, Germany and Japan.

Costa Rica's fixtures in Qatar

November 23 Spain v Costa Rica – Al Thumama Stadium (8pm)

November 27 Japan v Costa Rica – Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium (2pm)

December 1 Costa Rica v Germany – Al Bayt Stadium (11pm)

Costa Rica manager Luis Fernando Suarez has now guided three countries to World Cup finals. AFP

Qualifying results

September 2, 2021 Panama 0 Costa Rica 0

September 5, 2021 Costa Rica 0 Mexico 1 (Peneda pen 45+1')

September 8, 2021 Costa Rica 1 (Marin 3') Jamaica 1 (Nicholson 47')

October 7, 2021 Honduras 0 Costa Rica 0

October 10, 2021 Costa Rica 2 (Ruiz 52', Borges pen 58') El Salvador 1 (Henriquez 12')

October 13, 2021 United States 2 (Dest 25', Moreira og 66') Costa Rica 1 (Fuller 1')

November 12, 2021 Canada 1 (David 57') Costa Rica 0

November 16, 2021 Costa Rica 2 (Duarte 20', Torres 90+5') Honduras 1 (Quioto 35')

January 27, 2022 Costa Rica 1 (Ruiz 65') Panama 0

January 30, 2022 Mexico 0 Costa Rica 0

February 2, 2022 Jamaica 0 Costa Rica 1 (Campbell 62')

February 2, 2022 Costa Rica 1 (Borges 45+1') Canada 0

March 27, 2022 El Salvador 1 (Gil 31') Costa Rica 2 (Contreras 30', Campbell 45+1')

March 30, 2022 Costa Rica 2 (Vargas 51', Contreras 59') United States 0

Inter-confederation play-off

June 15, 2022 Costa Rica 1 (Campbell 3') New Zealand 0

Updated: September 28, 2022, 8:44 AM
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