Costa Rica were still waiting for their first taste of World Cup football, having seen other nations from Central America participate in recent editions (Honduras and El Salvador in 1982). The Ticos remained one of the better members of the CONCACAF confederation, however, and had reached the final round of the 1986 qualification, only to finish third and last behind Canada and Guatemala. For the global audience, they were perhaps most known for their appearances in both the 1980 and 1984 Olympics, which perhaps suggested that they had a generation now ready for the biggest stage in Italy 1990.
The man given the task of bringing the Ticos to Italia’90 was Gustavo De Simone (1987– ), a former Uruguayan international who had enjoyed a short, but apparently impressive career in Costa Rican league football as manager for Herediano (1986) and Cartaginés (1987).
World Cup appearances: –
Manager: Gustavo De Simone
Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto, Alajuela
Estadio Mateo Flores, Guatemala City
Chacón (39, pen.)