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11 Jan 2017
Costa Rica line up pre-qualifier friendlies
Franklin Zuniga's men will take on Switzerland and Japan before their qualification test.
Ahead of the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championships, Costa Rica have been busy in their preparations - confirming friendlies against two of the world’s premier sides.
The regional qualification tournament - which runs from the 20th to the 26th February in the Bahamas - will serve as a qualification event for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in the same nation, with two more CONCACAF nations bidding to join the hosts at the global showpiece.
And, as part of their preparations, Costa Rica will take on already-qualified Switzerland in two friendlies on January 14th and 15th while also facing Japan on January 21st and 22nd.
Both of Costa Rica’s opponents sit inside the world’s top 10 and both reached the quarter-finals of the last FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in 2015, with assistant Dennis Montoya eager for his players to test themselves against some of the best players in the world.
“We will face a great team that is sixth in the world rankings and who come with plenty of big stars,” he said of the Switzerland match-up.
“This match will be very good in terms of what we look for in our preparation, as they play a game very similar to the United States, a rival that we can face in the qualifier. We are pleased that they have chosen us to play against us, that says a lot.”
While Switzerland have secured their ticket to the Bahamas courtesy of a second-place finish at the European qualification event in Jesolo, Japan’s chance will come during the AFC Beach Soccer Championship in Malaysia in March.
“[Japan] come with all their stars, among them the famous player Ozu Moreira, who is of Brazilian origin,” Montoya added.
“Playing against Japan will help us, as they have a very fast game that will serve us well, as the game of the Caribbean is like this.
“We have a few steps remaining in our preparations, the choice is tough because all the boys have given their best. They will be doing physical and medical tests to measure how the players are and to ensure that the decision to choose the 12 players is the best.”
Info and picture via FEDEFutbol