A captain without a club for some. Former World Cup Champion among others. In Costa Rica, the president intervenes, and in New Zealand one of the legends of the Bundesliga helps. Hansi Flick should also take a closer look.
In Costa Rica, their lunch break is extended, and in New Zealand they have a smashing match that is served for breakfast. It comes down to no less than the last free World Cup spot in Qatar – and perhaps the role of spoiler for the German national team. The winner of the second Intercontinental play-off in the World Cup host nation on Tuesday (8:00pm CST) will meet national coach Hansi Flick’s team in the final Group E match on December 1 at Al Bayt Stadium.
It is clear that Costa Rica and New Zealand do not expect a difficult task at the end of the year for this reason alone. In addition to the German national team, Japan and Spain are also in Group E of the Qatar World Cup.
Costa Rica played against Germany once before in a summer fairy tale and maintained a 2-4 lead at the start of the 2006 World Cup. There was also a duel with New Zealand: in 1999 the German Football Association won the Confederations Cup. In Mexico 2-0.
Navas is to become a support
But who will get the last ticket to the World Cup? Costa Rica is 31 in the current rankings, and New Zealand is 101. Costa Rica striker Joel Campbell, who has already capped more than 100 caps in his career book, emphasized, “It’s not about ranking. Hopefully it’s over after 90 minutes and there’s no overtime and no penalties. “.
The player who became Costa Rica’s 2014 World Cup champion also wants to contribute. “We’ll go out and give it our all,” Keylor Navas promised. Eight years ago, the 35-year-old was also on target. At the time, Costa Rica advanced in the group with Italy, England and Uruguay and only failed to reach the top eight on penalties at the hands of the Netherlands.
Navas should now become a huge support again on his way to the World Cup at the end of the year. And almost everyone should be able to see it back home in Central America: President Rodrigo Chavez has decreed an extended lunch break, and kick-off time in Costa Rica is 12 noon. “Over 13,000 kilometers away, 11 warriors will arrive on the field to complete a historic qualification,” Chavez said.
Notable side stories
In Qatar, climatic conditions will not make it easy for either country. Air conditioners buzz in the stadium, but the match is also played in the evening at 9pm local time. Walking from the hotel to the team bus during the day, the sun burns mercilessly with temperatures over 40 degrees. “The players are 100 per cent ready for this match,” Costa Rica physiotherapist Ivan Nino pledged.
It will be no different with All Whites. They will also once again carry a motivational poster for Unity featuring three legends of New Zealand football – one of whom is former Bundesliga star and Werder favourite, Winton Rovers. And while in Wellington, more than 14,500 kilometers flying, the temperatures are just over twelve degrees, coach Danny Hay’s team acclimatized for a long time, and he recently played a friendly match in Al Rayyan.
The captain was not there yet. However, Winston Reid should be able to make an appearance in the all-important match of the “Golden Generation”, as many of the younger players in the house are being praised. The fact that the 33-year-old has been without a club for nearly a year is one of the notable side stories of the New Zealand-Costa Rica clash at the last available World Cup venue.
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