Costa Rica vs. New Zealand Predictions: Who will secure the last World Cup spot for Qatar?
Costa Rica vs. New Zealand Odds
Tonight, we will finally learn the full collection of 32 international teams contesting World Cup Qatar 2022. We have the last FIFA Inter-Confederation play-off match taking place in Al Rayyan, Qatar, which will give us our final team from the CONCACAF and Oceania confederations. We have CONCACAFS's Costa Rica taking on Ocenia's New Zealand and we've asked our in-house writer Adam Roberts to preview this one and give us his best two bets for the occasion.
Costa Rica vs. New Zealand Tips
Well, after the shock penalty victory for Australia in their FIFA Inter-Confederation playoff against Peru last night, can their Antipodean neighbours New Zealand pull off their own shock and defeat Costa Rica at the Al Rayyan Stadium in Qatar tonight? They come into this one as big outsiders with the Costa Rican's just odds-on, the draw around 2/1 and the All Whites at the 15/4 mark.
Should New Zealand pull off the unthinkable it would be just the third time in their 100 year history they would qualify for a World Cup Finals. They would then line up in a horrible looking Group E alongside Spain, Germany and Japan. To do so they will need to upset the applecart and defeat a team 70 places above them in the FIFA world rankings.
Los Ticos are the most successful Central American team of all time, winning three CONCACAF championships and have appeared in five World Cups - another record for Central America. They finished fourth in qualifying behind Canada, Mexico and USA and were only behind the US on goal difference.
The two clubs have met just once in international history, a 4-0 win to Costa Rica back in 2007. That unlikely scoreline is a 50/1 chance tonight.
Costa Rica vs New Zealand predicted teams
Costa Rica (4-2-3-1): Keylor Navas (GK); Bryan Oviedo, Keysher Fuller, Francisco Calvo, Carlos Martínez; Gerson Torres, Yeltsin Tejeda; Orlando Galo, Brandon Aguilera, Johan Venegas; Joel Campbell.
New Zealand (3-1-4-2): Oliver Sail (GK); Bill Tuiloma, Winston Reid, Tommy Smith; Joe Bell; Kosta Barbarouses, Liberato Cacace, Tim Payne, Matthew Garbett; Alex Greive, Chris Wood.
My first pick is for Costa Rica to win in the 90 minutes. La Tricolor have a very experienced team including Keylor Navas, Bryan Ruiz and Joel Campbell and have been there, done that. While New Zealand have a few UK based players, they lack squad depth and quality and have failed at this same stage on their last two attempts. Costa Rica should have too much for them here.
I think given the nature of this occasion, this will be a fairly tight affair probably won by Costa Rica 2-0 or 2-1. One man I expect to get onto the scoresheet is Alajuelense striker Johan Venegas. The 33-year-old veteran has had a great season in the Primera Clausura, scoring 10 goals in just 16 outings. In his career he has 131 goals in 440 games and 11 in 72 games for the national team. He is 7/2 to get on the scoresheet again tonight.
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