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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 08:33, June 21, 2006
Costa Rican hide team shirts following final World Cup defeat
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Costa Rica's capital, San Jose, was grey and windswept on Tuesday, and few residents wore the team's football kit, during Costa Rica's final game in the World Cup: a 2-1 loss to Poland.

Few fans bothered with the game, held in Hanover, as Costa Rica's two previous losses mean the team has already been knocked out of the tournament.

The scant attention paid to Tuesday's match was in marked contrast to previous games when Costa Ricans everywhere wore the team's kit and many took the day off work or school to watch the team's games.

The few fans that watched were only happy during the first half: when Ronald Gomez, playing 11 for Costa Rica, scored the team's only goal, putting the team ahead for the first time in the tournament.

But the Polish team soon scared off the Costa Rican dream, and disappointment took over Costa Rican hearts; and the grey cold rain echoed their mood.

"We played terrible, super awful," Costa Rica fan Antiona Mora said. "The players shamed us in front of the whole world. If we don't start playing better, we are better off not going to the World Cup."

Another fan, Ricardo Quiros, was furious at both team and manager. "We have to sack (manager) Alexander Guimaraes and that shower of layabouts that went to Germany for a stroll on the football pitch," he said.

Fans blamed not only Guimaraes but also Hermes Navarro, president of Costa Rica's football federation, and individual players like number 9 Paulo Wanchope.

"Now is the time to get rid of all those managers and kick Guimaraes out, bring in a new manager who knows more about football, who will show the youngsters how to compete," Marta Sanchez said.

The team will return home at 3.45 p.m. local time, but they are not expecting the hero's welcome that greeted the Costa Rica teams that appeared in the 1990 Italy World Cup or the 2002 South Korea and Japan edition.

Source: Xinhua

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