SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, March 29 (Reuters) - Costa Rica ground
out a disappointing 0-0 draw in a home friendly against
Argentina on Tuesday, the visitors weakened by the late
withdrawal of talismanic striker Lionel Messi.
Pulled out as a precaution with a leg injury, the Barcelona
forward's absence came as a big letdown to a majority of the
crowd at the 35,000-seater stadium, many of whom had shelled out
hundreds of dollars just to see Messi play.
The understrength visitors dominated most of the possession
but were unable to break down the home side, who regarded the
draw against a side sitting 49 places above than them in FIFA's
rankings as a moral victory.
Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas made several stunning
saves to back up the sterling work of industrious midfielder
Cristian Bolanos as both sides failed to make the most of any
scoring opportunities that fell their way.
The friendly was only the second match played at Costa
Rica's new national stadium, built as an estimated $100 million
gift from China, whose national team drew 2-2 with the 'Ticos'
when the arena was opened on Saturday.
"Today probably showed how much they miss Messi when he is
not playing," Costa Rica's Argentine coach Ricardo La Volpe told
"If they're going to depend on one player so much to drive
the team forward then I don't think they're going down the right
Pardew to report to returning ex-manager
Sub scores to make it three World Cups in a row
Three-year jail sentence a possibility
Principality project faces legal wrangles over exceptional circumstances
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010