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Nizhny Showdown: Confident Swiss Face Already Eliminated Ticos Today

Switzerland will face the already eliminated Costa Rica today, Wednesday. A win or even a draw will be enough for Switzerland to advance in World Cup 2018 play.

For Costa Rica, also known as the “Switzerland of Central America”, on the other hand, it’s not a matter of winning or losing, though winning would surely give the Ticos and fans at home a relief, it’s the risk of an unwanted record in Russia.

The Ticos are in danger of being the only team to finish the World Cup in Russia without a goal.

Every other team in Russia has scored. Costa Rica’s last chance comes today, at noon local time.

Costa Rican was eliminated after losing 1-0 to Serbia and 2-0 to Brazil. The loss to Brazil, after two injury-time goals, was especially tough to take.

Costa Rica centre-back Kendall Waston

Kendall Watson said it best, “I don’t think that we could be more under pressure than we are.”

The results at the World Cup has led to harsh criticism back home for coach Oscar Ramirez. He says some of the criticism was “quite hurtful” but “if they attack myself or my family, I am going to show (them) that there’s a tiger inside of me.”

Coach Oscar Ramirez

Waston on Tuesday said the team were more united than ever despite sharp criticism over their two losses and quick elimination.

“Instead of being distracted, we have tried to be more united. We didn’t want things outside the group, externally, what they say on social media, to bring negative things out. We became more united. There were comments made because the results didn’t go our way. If things had gone differently, no one would be talking about this. We’re relaxed about representing Costa Rica,” the 30-year-old defender said in a press conference.

“We still have a lot to play for. We’re winners, not average. We’re not going to play a match just because we have to. In our line of work, we always try to do our best. We want to win for our pride. We have a country to represent and we want to finish in the best way possible,” Waston said.

Press conference with Kendall Waston and Óscar Ramírez

Costa Rica is sitting in last place in Group E, with 0 points and 0 goals, after losing to Serbia and Brazil.

At least one goal. Costa Rica have never before left a FIFA World Cup goalless.