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Friendly games key to Costa Rica's preparation, says Coach Valverde

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Amelia Valverde, the Costa Rican coach, said that the two-match international friendly against Jamaica's Under-17 Women's team was vital for the team's preparation for the Central America Zone qualifiers to be held in Panama later this month.

Costa Rica will play against Panama, El Salvador and Honduras from October 24-28 with only the winner qualifying for the 2018 CONCACAF Women's Under-17 Championships in Nicaragua.

“We have to play Central America before we can qualify for the CONCACAF championships. That is how it goes; that is what we want and that is what we are going to work for.

“We have been to five World Cups before, two with Under-17 Women's team, two with the Under-20 women's team, and the other with the senior national team.

“We hope that we can be in one or two more World Cups to come. We have the CONCACAF Under-20 championship to play and we hope that we can reach CONCACAF Under-17 championship as well but we need to win the Central America first,” Valverde told the Jamaica Observer.

Valverde's side was successful in both friendly games against Jamaica, winning the first game 3-0 before taking the second and final game 3-1.

“We are really happy for the games. It was really good in our preparation. But more importantly, I saw growth in the players and that will help them a lot.

“In the second game I think that both halves were different. The first half we had more ball and action. I was really happy in the first half because we were more effective.

“In the second half we changed something about the team in terms of the way how we play. I think that was a good half too, but we didn't want to receive any goals but we did receive one, that's soccer; that's the sport and now we have to practice and be ready for our competition in the next three weeks.

“The competition is completely different from this match because when you play for points and wins are so important, that is different. This [preparation in friendly games] is important for the girls to be together, to be strong for other national teams and I think that we have to work some more,” said Valverde.

—Ruddy Allen